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Reducing Firm Risk with Timely and Adequate Patch Management

By Kaleigh Alessandro | Thursday, August 31st, 2017

In addition to taking advantage of human errors and naiveté, today’s hackers are also incredibly successful at identifying gaps in technology that can lead them to profit (monetary or otherwise). One of these most critical gaps is a lack of adequate and timely patch management.

Software vulnerabilities have turned heads in 2017 with news-making ransomware outbreaks such as WannaCry and Petya calling attention to outdated patches and legacy technology. First, hackers look for an entry point: often a phishing email or other social engineering scheme intended to fool users into leaving a gateway open. Once inside a firm’s network, there’s no telling the damage a hacker can do, but we’re witnessing increased activity and success in exploiting these security holes caused by inadequate patching.

What can firms do to address this security gap? Unfortunately, the problem of patch management cannot be resolved with one click of a button. Successful and ongoing management and monitoring of security patches requires a diligent effort – and one that cannot be 100% automated. Regardless of size, most firms do not have the internal resources required to manage frequent patch roll-outs, particularly for firms leveraging a host of third-party applications.

To sustain the highest levels of resiliency and prevent software vulnerabilities from causing harm on their own or at the hands of malicious hackers, firms should look to implement a patch management service. Companies – such as Eze Castle Integration! – can provide fully managed patch services to ensure software and firmware remain up-to-date and are proactively monitored to prevent security bugs and malicious exploits, reducing overall firm risk. This means seasoned IT experts are keeping pace with a constantly changing threat landscape, enforcing consistent IT policies to eliminate weak links and reducing overhead so your IT resources can focus on more complex tasks.

To give you more insight into how a centralized patch management service can benefit your firm, here’s a look at how our Eze Patch Management Service works, spear-headed by our Network Operations team.

Our NetOps team takes a three-phased approach to patch management, with the end goal of reducing as much overall risk to the client as possible. The three phases include:

  1. Testing: Immediately after a patch is issued by the software provider (i.e. Microsoft), NetOps deploys the patch to a lab environment that simulates a client infrastructure. This testing phase allows our team to identify any unforeseen issues and make adjustments as necessary before issuing updates more broadly.

  2. Piloting: Shortly after the testing phase, patches are deployed to ‘pilot’ clients and early adopters, providing NetOps with additional insight into the effectiveness of the patch.

  3. Production: Finally, during the production phase, all subscribed clients are issued the necessary patches. Ongoing monitoring takes place to ensure patches are applied as intended.

Learn more about Eze Patch Management Service here, and contact us at sales@eci.com to speak with an expert. 

More ways to reduce firm risk and prevent growing cybersecurity threats: 

10 Common Security Gaps to Avoid

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