How to Create a Patch Management Strategy

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how to create a patch management strategy
The strength of your patch management strategy is vitally important to your overall cybersecurity strategy. Keep reading to learn more about how to create a patch management strategy.  Read More

The strength of your patch management strategy is vitally important to your overall cybersecurity strategy. Keep reading to learn more about how to create a patch management strategy.

If you don’t update corporate software with the latest security patches, you leave a window of opportunity for attackers to exploit known vulnerabilities. This could lead to data breaches, remote code execution, credential theft, and many more severe damages that could harm your brand reputation and business productivity. Having a patch management strategy reduces threat risk on your network environment that could be running outdated software and leaving it vulnerable to cyber-attackers.

What is Patch Management?

When developers find bugs in their software, they eventually release updates to patch and remediate them. Bugs are annoyances that can cause issues with business productivity, but security bugs can cause much more than a crash or employee downtime. Security bugs can lead to data breaches that could cost organizations millions of dollars in litigation, brand damage, and loss of customers.

Updating software with the latest security patches is also a compliance requirement. If organizations do not patch their software when a release is deployed by developers, they could be subject to hefty fines in addition to the impact on revenue. It’s more important than ever for organizations to keep up-to-date on the latest versions of their installed software.

If just one application needs an update, it’s easy to download and patch a single application. However, most organizations have dozens of applications installed on workstations, servers, network infrastructure, and mobile devices. To keep up with the latest updates and software patches takes a full-time employee, so organizations turn to patching applications to keep their software updated with the latest version, including the latest security patches.

Patch management is any strategy used to keep software updated with the latest versions. Its main purpose is to remediate potential security vulnerabilities in installed software, but it’s also used to ensure that software is updated to the latest version to avoid any crashes and downtime due to outdated applications.

A good patch management strategy doesn’t just cover end-user applications. It also covers developer libraries. Developer libraries are used in applications to perform a specific action so that developers can more rapidly deploy corporate applications. Developers for these libraries also patch them to remediate vulnerabilities and bugs, so these libraries should also be monitored for the latest versions and updates.

Steps to Build a Patch Management Strategy

Creating a strategy is much more difficult if you run an enterprise business with several applications and network infrastructure to monitor. The strategy that you create also depends on your environment and your specific business requirements. For example, a public-facing server has a much higher risk than an internal one where only administrators have access to it. The internal server still has risks from internal threats, so it still needs to be included in the patch management strategy. However, it likely won’t have numerous scans on open ports and vulnerabilities compared to a public-facing server.

The first step is to audit your infrastructure. You need to know every application running on your network. Don’t forget that hardware firmware also needs to be monitored for patches and updates. Some patch management applications help with the discovery process so that you can audit your environment for applications.

After you inventory all your applications, the next step is to assign a risk level to every application. This step often requires an expert who can determine risk levels and assess the many ways an application and its host could be a target for an attacker. Risk assessment is often a tedious task that requires professionals so that you are certain that your cybersecurity and patch management strategy will be effective.

To know when a new version or patch is available, you must keep up with vendor updates. You can use the official US government National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) database (nvd.nist.gov/vuln/search) to find the latest vulnerabilities reported to developers, or you can track updates on the application developer’s website.

Installing patches without testing them first can lead to disastrous results. If patches won’t install properly or any updates affect applications running on the machine, you could face severe downtime. This issue makes it important for enterprises to have a staging environment where updates can be tested before they are deployed to production. Just remember that the longer software is left unpatched, the longer the window of opportunity for an attacker to exploit a vulnerability. Testing is important, but it must be done quickly to reduce risk and avoid leaving your servers or workstations open to known vulnerabilities.

Patching your software as quickly as possible is a compliance requirement, but it’s also difficult when you need to test patches first. This issue is what makes patch management difficult for administrators who must ensure the uptime of the network but continue to follow best practices in cybersecurity. Your strategy should incorporate cybersecurity risk into the equation, and it should continually deploy patches to a staging environment so that you can determine if patching will cause any problems. This entire process is a delicate balance for both cybersecurity and the stability of the network.

The final component of a good patch management strategy is automation. Most of the previous points can be automated, and automation can make it much more efficient. Instead of manually discovering a new update, automation can find new updates, alert administrators, and even deploy the patches to staging and production. Development libraries can be included in this automation to help developers keep their internal business applications updated with the latest versions.


A patch management strategy keeps your infrastructure secure from the latest cybersecurity threats, but it also keeps you compliant with regulatory requirements. It’s a critical component in your IT procedures so that your administrators can keep up with the latest vulnerabilities and bugs included in your installed software. Although a patch management strategy is mainly for cybersecurity, it’s also a beneficial way for developers and administrators to keep all applications on the environment updated so that they can limit downtime, stop data breaches from known vulnerabilities, and ensure the IT environment runs smoothly.

How to Simplify Patch and Vulnerability Management

Simplify Patch and Vulnerability Management

One of the most effective ways to keep your company safe is to partner with a managed security service provider (MSSP) like Cybriant. Outsourcing your IT gives you access to the latest security patches as soon as they become available while also receiving around the clock IT support. You will have the peace of mind to know that your business is always well-prepared for cyber threats by using a managed service provider.

Here are four ways Cybriant can protect your business with security patches.

#1 Create a Patch Deployment Policy

One of the best ways to keep your company secure is to create a patch deployment policy. Our team will find the best time to deploy patches for your business to limit disruptions and downtime. A managed security service provider that automatically handles patch management will save your employees a lot of time and frustration. Each of your employees can focus on their job while letting an IT provider handle all of the security patches and updates.

#2 Automatically Discover Endpoints

Enabling the auto-discovery of endpoints is essential in identifying unsecured areas of your company. Cybriant will continually monitor your endpoints to ensure that everything is well-protected and has access to the latest updates. These proactive services are a great way to keep your company secure and stay a step ahead of cybercriminals.

#3 Maintain Compliance

Businesses in various industries must maintain strict compliance guidelines. Failure to maintain compliance can result in substantial fines or even cause your business to shut down permanently. Fortunately, you can avoid such a doomsday scenario by using an IT service provider that automatically downloads the latest patches. A patch compliance report can also be automatically created once an update is downloaded. These reports are a great way to verify that your business is remaining in compliance and keeping up with the most up to date security standards for your particular industry.

#4 Scan for Missing Updates

Keeping your IT infrastructure up to date is essential to avoid downtime and compliance issues. Cybriant can automatically scan for missing updates to ensure that your company is well-protected against cyber threats. If a patch is missing, we will immediately begin working on a solution to deploy an update as soon as possible. Our top goal is to always look at ways to improve and keep your company safe against cybercriminals.

Patch management services are critical due to the ever-increasing number of cyber threats in the workplace. These cyber-attacks can create significant disruptions to your business while also costing your company a large sum of money in only a short amount of time. A managed service provider can play a vital role in keeping your assets well-protected through patch management services.

Why is Patch Management Important

Patch management is important because it helps to ensure that software is up-to-date and compliant with patch management policies. The patch management lifecycle includes the identification, classification, testing, and deployment of patches. patch management policies typically specify when and how patches should be applied and who is responsible for each stage of the process.

By patching software in a timely and effective manner, patch management can help to prevent vulnerabilities from being exploited. In addition, patch management can help ensure that software is compatible with other applications and systems and meets patch management compliance requirements.

Benefits of Patch Management

1. Protects Against Security Threats: Patching software can help to mitigate the risk of security threats, such as malicious software, ransomware, and viruses.

2. Improves Regulatory Compliance: Patch management policies can help organizations remain in compliance with industry regulations and standards.

3. Enhances System Stability: Regularly applying patches can help to ensure that software is stable and reliable.

4. Boosts Productivity: Patching software can help to improve the user experience by fixing bugs, optimizing performance, and adding new features.

5. Saves Time & Money: Keeping systems up-to-date with patch management can help organizations save time and money by preventing outages, reducing the need for costly fixes, and eliminating the need to purchase additional software.

Overall, patch management is an important part of any organization’s IT security strategy. By regularly applying patches and following best practices, organizations can ensure that their systems are secure and compliant with industry regulations.

Patching Policy Best Practice

By having a patching policy best practice template to follow, your organization will ensure that patch management policies are followed.

1. Develop a comprehensive patching policy: Organizations should develop a comprehensive patching policy that outlines the roles, responsibilities, and procedures for patch management.

2. Schedule regular audits: Scheduling regular audits can help to ensure that software is up-to-date and compliant with patch management policies.

3. Automate patch management: Automating patch management can help to streamline the process and ensure that patches are applied in a timely manner.

4. Monitor systems & networks: Organizations should monitor their systems and networks for any changes or updates that may require a patch.

5. Test patches before deployment: Patches should be tested before they are deployed to ensure that they don’t cause any unintended consequences.

6. Train staff on patch management: Training staff on patch management is important to ensure that all stakeholders understand the importance of patching software in a timely and effective manner.

By following best practices for patch management, organizations can ensure that their software is up-to-date and secure. Patch management can also help to improve system stability, enhance regulatory compliance, and boost productivity.

Automated Patch Management

Automated patch management is an effective way to ensure that patches are applied in a timely manner. Automated patch management systems can be used to detect, deploy, and monitor patches across multiple systems and networks.

Comprehensive Vulnerability Management from Cybriant

The time between each scan is all an attacker needs to compromise a network. With active scanning, our security experts automatically have visibility to assess where each asset is secure or exposed. By using risk prioritization, our security experts have the skills to understand exposures in context. They will prioritize remediation based on asset criticality, threat context, and vulnerability severity.

Our comprehensive vulnerability management will help discover vulnerabilities in all your endpoints. Plus we’ll actively remediate identified vulnerabilities using policy-based frameworks. This service includes:

  • Patch Automation: Distribute thoroughly tested patches to thousands of machines in minutes with minimal impact on your network.
  • Heterogeneous Platform Support: Streamline patching for multiple operating systems.
  • Third-Party Application Patching: Patch your most vulnerable apps, including Acrobat Flash, Java, and multiple Internet browsers.
  • Distributed and Remote Patching: Patch all devices anywhere—whether they’re behind the firewall, on the road, at remote sites, or even asleep.
  • Virtualization Support: Patch online and offline virtual machines and even hypervisors.
  • Patch Compliance: Easily verify patching enterprise-wide to meet the policies and regulations that affect your organization.

Vulnerability Management is one of our core managed services that is included in CybriantXDR. This services will help you effectively reduce your threat landscape and sleep easier at night knowing you are fully protected. CybriantXDR helps a business solve three challenges; reduce cyber risk, achieve compliance, and meet security framework control standards. The services comprised in CybriantXDR address the most common vulnerabilities and threats mid-sized organizations will encounter thereby shrinking the threat landscape maximally. Consider Cybriant when implementing patch management.

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