The topic of patching seems fairly straight forward. If a patch comes out, should you apply it? In almost every instance, the answer is yes!
The main purposes of patching include:
Each organization should have a policy that addresses patching. As part of the policy, document any exceptions. It is possible that a server, application, or asset may not be able to be patched, and it's important to document why. Consider the options, and document the analysis and decision. Part of the analysis should include:
Note: Choosing not to apply a patch as quickly as possible leaves your business at risk of a hacker taking advantage of the vulnerability and gaining access to your system or your data. Consider this an open door or a door with an ineffective lock to your businesses IP and data.
One other thing: When applying the patch, ensure patches are downloaded from the manufacturer. If it comes from another source, there’s a possibility that it’s malware or has been compromised leaving you open to a security threat.
Lastly, be aware with multi-layered software and applications, a simple combination can create a weakness, which is all the more reason to make it a priority to stay current with the latest patches. For more on how to protect your business from ransomware, read on.