Patch management is the process of deploying an update to a piece of software or computer program to fix, update or improve it, including security vulnerabilities, bugs, usability or performance.
One of the great challenges for deploying software updates is the myriad of update mechanisms each software vendor chooses to use to update their software. This challenge has been addressed for the Microsoft stack using a standardised process and standardised deployments tools such WSUS and SCCM.
However, patching only Microsoft applications is not enough. Leaving the 3rd party applications unmonitored and unpatched can leave your organisation open to exploit from attackers. The number of cyber-attacks continue to grow with hackers tending to focus on exploiting vulnerabilities in non-Microsoft applications, using them as doorways into corporate networks.
Patches are proven to be the most effective means for remediating vulnerabilities. Patching applications is considered by Australia’s peak security body, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), as the 2nd most effective strategy for mitigating targeted cyber intrusions.