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IT Mythbusters: Top 5 Mistakes Organizations Make With Patch Management

Patch Management isn’t just about updating software—it’s the shield protecting your organization from cyber threats. Learn what mistakes to avoid and how to make the most of PMaaS.

Patch Management comprises the process of updating, managing, and deploying “patches” or software updates across an organization’s devices and software applications. The integrity of an organization’s IT environment hinges on this continual process, yet upkeep often poses challenges in terms of scale, timing, and resource allocation. 

Why do Patch Management? 

If not done properly, there can be disastrous consequences. Outdated software can become a gateway for security breaches, making patch management a crucial first line of defense. But navigating this terrain can get complicated—particularly for organizations without dedicated resources or comprehensive patch strategies. This is where Patch Management as a Service (PMaaS) can provide relief.  

What is Patch Management as a Service? 

PMaaS is a solution that can be tailored to your organization’s unique needs. PMaaS ensures consistent monitoring, efficient resolution, and timely deployment of patches across diverse systems. With PMaaS, IT teams and leaders have a reliable shield against potential vulnerabilities, freeing them up to focus on other priorities. 

Organizations may not know exactly what to look for when it comes to identifying an effective PMaaS provider. There are several misconceptions surrounding PMaaS and the critical role it plays in bolstering cybersecurity and ensuring proactive protection against evolving threats. To shed some light on patch management and empower technology leaders to make informed choices, our experts have pulled together this resource. 

 

Demystifying Patch Management as a Service (PMaaS) 

Myth 1: “Patching can wait” 

Please—don’t make this mistake. The reality is that even the smallest delay in patching can create significant vulnerabilities in an organization’s IT infrastructure. Cybersecurity experts often advocate for immediate patch application upon release. This urgency stems from the fact that cybercriminals are persistently prowling for vulnerabilities, and any lag in updating software or endpoints creates a window of opportunity for them to exploit.  

If you want to explore recent cyber-attacks, the attack vectors involved, and their impact on the affected organizations and industries, you can check out some of our recent posts. You’ll find that proper patch management could have prevented a good number of these attacks—and could have saved these organizations a lot of time and resources:  

 

Myth 2: “You don’t have to patch third-party applications to secure your network endpoints” 

Wrong. While administrators often prioritize OS updates, neglecting patches for third-party applications can create significant vulnerabilities in an organization’s network. In fact, numerous security breaches and cyber incidents from the past few years have been traced back to unpatched third-party applications.  

For example, the 2017 Equifax data breach which affected over 143 million customers was the result from an unpatched vulnerability in Apache Struts. The 2016 WannaCry ransomware attack exploited a vulnerability in Windows systems, but the initial point of entry was through unpatched versions of the Microsoft Office suite and other applications. 

You can reference the links listed under Myth #1 for plenty of additional examples of recent data breaches where patch management would have made a difference. 

 
Myth 3: “Patching is disruptive” 

If done right, it shouldn’t be—but this is a real concern for some organizations. One Heimdal Security study indicated that 72% of managers hesitated to apply security patches immediately due to concerns about potential disruptions. This is alarming as the risk and costs of disruptions related to not deploying timely security updates far outweighs the potential risks of executing immediate updates. 

Working with an experience PMaaS provider can mitigate any potential risks with a strategic, effectively scheduled approach to patching that minimizes if not completely eliminates any disruption associated with updates. 

 

Myth 4: “You only have to patch once to secure your endpoints” 

Incorrect. Patching is an iterative and continuous process rather than a one-time fix. Cyber threats are constantly evolving, and software vulnerabilities are regularly discovered, making it crucial to implement timely and continuous patching to fortify endpoint security.  

Each update released by software vendors contains essential fixes addressing vulnerabilities discovered since the previous release. Failing to deploy these updates leaves systems exposed and susceptible to exploitation by cyber attackers. 

To proactively close security gaps, reduce vulnerabilities, and fortify their overall cybersecurity posture, organizations may need to adopt managed patch management solutions that streamline the monitoring, assessment, and deployment of patches across network endpoints. 

 

Myth 5: “Regular patching takes too much time and is unsustainable” 

Not quite. While patching does involve several steps—including scanning for missing updates, downloading patches, and deploying them across multiple systems—advancements in technology have significantly streamlined this process.  

Automation and outsourcing to expert PMaaS providers can alleviate the time and effort required on your part to ensure properly executed patch management across your organization. Providers have the tools and expertise to optimize patching workflows by automatically scanning for missing updates, downloading patches, and deploying them across the network.  

Additionally, outsourcing patch management to specialized service providers can significantly reduce the burden on your resources, allowing organizations to benefit from expert guidance and timely updates while freeing up your internal IT teams to focus on other priorities and projects.  

 

Choosing the Right Patch Management Provider 

UDT’s Patch Management as a Service (PMaaS) offers a comprehensive solution designed to provide visibility into your digital and IT assets while keeping your systems and software consistently up to date and secure. Our expertise lies in understanding the complex and unique needs of diverse organizations, delivering tailored strategies that align precisely with your IT and business requirements, so you can benefit from resilient, sustainable IT. 

What We Cover 

UDT’s PMaaS ensures complete coverage across a wide spectrum of systems, including operating systems, third-party applications, physical and virtual servers, hypervisors, network devices, and mobile devices. This approach guarantees that every facet of your IT ecosystem remains well-maintained and fortified against potential vulnerabilities. We recognize the significance of adaptability in a constantly changing environment, which is why our programmatic and flexible delivery allows for continuous patching, ensuring your systems are always protected without disrupting your operations. 

The UDT Promise  

Our commitment is not just about offering a solution but also about partnering with organizations to deliver reliable patching services. We start with a comprehensive baseline assessment to understand your current IT environment and then tailor our approach to prioritize systems based on risk levels, regulatory needs, and business priorities. Our proactive monitoring, quality control measures, and intelligent reporting mechanisms provide full visibility into the patching cycle, ensuring efficiency and compliance at every stage. 

Experience Resilient, Sustainable IT 

If you’re undergoing expansion, experiencing dynamic changes in your IT landscape, or dealing with stringent compliance requirements, our PMaaS keeps your systems up-to-date and safe against potential threats, allowing you to focus on your core business objectives while maintaining a secure and sustainable infrastructure.  

When you’re ready to get your quote, contact our team today.

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Experiencing a security breach?

Get immediate assistance from our security operations center! Take the following recommended actions NOW while we get on the case:

RECOMMENDED IMMEDIATE NEXT ACTIONS

  1. Determine which systems were impacted and immediately isolate them. Take the network offline at the switch level or physically unplug the systems from the wired or wireless network.
  2. Immediately take backups offline to preserve them. Scan backups with anti-virus and malware tools to ensure they’re not infected
  3. Initiate an immediate password reset on affected user accounts with new passwords that are no less than 14 characters in length. Do this for Senior Management accounts as well.

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