Does Automated Patch Management Improve Security?
sing an automated patching solution saves time and resources by reducing the reliance on human capital to keep your infrastructure patched. While these saving are significant, does automated patch management improve security as well? The answer is yes and it helps improve security in a variety of ways.
Reducing the time to patch known vulnerabilities
Known vulnerabilities are the number one reason that every organization should stay up-to-date on patching. Some estimates suggest that 90% of companies are attacked with vulnerabilities that are at least three years old1, and 44% of successful data breaches are a result vulnerabilities that are at least two years old2.
Once a vulnerability has been disclosed, cyber attackers immediately set to work exploiting it. They know the average time to identify a breach is six months, and another two months to contain it. If you’re unable to effectively keep up with new patch releases, your infrastructure is at unnecessary risk. Automated patch management can eliminate those attacks completely. Based on the schedule and process you set, new patches can be applied automatically, with or without the need for human intervention, on the day they are released.
Reducing the chance of human error
One reason patch management is so labor-intensive is that it requires IT Managers to perform a series of tasks to scan for vulnerabilities, identify patches for each system, and install them throughout the network. They must be meticulous in keeping track of the devices in their infrastructure, and inventory which devices are running which applications. Missing an update on a single device leaves the company vulnerable to an attack.
The chance for human error in this multi-step process is high. Automated patching remove this risk. The first step in a cloud based automated patching process is to deploy the agent to every device in your infrastructure. The agent then checks in and within minutes every system is visible in a single dashboard. Once patch policies are set, patches are applied on an ongoing basis, ensuring all systems are kept up to date. If a patch fails, an alert is sent so it can be investigated.
Improving security team efficiency
By automating the patching process, IT teams can turn their attention to other pressing needs. IT Security teams are often stretched thin: Cisco’s Cyber Security Report found that security teams are only able to investigate 56% of daily security threats3, and that just 72 out of every 1,000 threats are remediated. Patching is not a top of the list item for any one role and pulling team members off of existing projects to work on patching impacts their other work, causing delays, frustration, and lower productivity.
Automated patching solutions reduces the time required by IT team members and allows them to remain focused on other security projects. A single IT Manager or SysAdmin can manage an automated patching solution in just a few minutes a day.
Providing visibility into systems
Another risk to a company’s data security, is a lack of awareness of what systems are in their infrastructure. Are there “rouge” devices that IT isn’t aware of, meaning they haven’t been patched in years? Does the IT security team know about every new device that comes online so they can add it to inventory? If not, there will always be holes in your patch security plan.
Using a cloud-native automated patch management solution, you can manage your entire infrastructure from a single dashboard. An automated solution like Automox works across any OS, includes 3rd party software patching, and can reach devices anywhere in the world as long they are connected to the internet. Adding new systems to the platform takes less than a minute and can be included as part of the provisioning process.
1 https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/90-percent-of-companies-get-attacked-with-three-year-old-vulnerabilities/2 http://www.eweek.com/security/lack-of-patching-remains-a-top-security-risk-hp-report-finds3 http://b2me.cisco.com/en-us-annual-cybersecurity-report-2017?keycode1=001464220
Facing growing threats and a rapidly expanding attack surface, understaffed and alert-fatigued organizations need more efficient ways to eliminate their exposure to vulnerabilities. Automox is a modern cyber hygiene platform that closes the aperture of attack by more than 80% with just half the effort of traditional solutions.
Cloud-native and globally available, Automox enforces OS & third-party patch management, security configurations, and custom scripting across Windows, Mac, and Linux from a single intuitive console. IT and SecOps can quickly gain control and share visibility of on-prem, remote and virtual endpoints without the need to deploy costly infrastructure.
Experience modern, cloud-native management today with a 15-day free trial of Automox and start recapturing more than half the time you're currently spending on managing your attack surface. Automox dramatically reduces corporate risk while raising operational efficiency to deliver best-in-class security outcomes, faster and with fewer resources.