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What’s Your Patch Management Strategy?

The security of today’s information systems go far beyond the general protection measures that were once considered to provide ample security against intrusion. For many companies that are implementing new technologies one of the top priorities in today’s world is security. There are many different aspects that define the overall security of a company’s infrastructure, one of which is patch management.

Patching is the process of repairing system vulnerabilities which are discovered after the infrastructure components have been released on the market.  Patches apply to many different parts of an information system which include operating systems, servers, routers, desktops, email clients, office suites, mobile devices, firewalls, and many other components that exist within the network infrastructure.  The number of patches which are required on a consistent basis can be overwhelming.  This is why it is necessary to devise a patch management process to ensure the proper preventive measures are taken against potential threats.

How Patch Management Works

 The methods which are used for patch management will vary slightly according to the infrastructure design for each company information system.  That said here is a general description of how patch management is typically deployed.

Most companies with large infrastructures implement automated patch management systems which reduce the requirements for manpower that would otherwise be needed for manual implementation. Other companies choose to outsource patch management to a qualified company which will perform this service from a remote location.

An automated patch management system involves the installation of a client agent that allows network administrators to control patch distribution from a web-based interface.  This type of system allows network administrators to configure the settings for patch distribution and generate log reports to check the status of patches. Patch distribution can also be set at different levels within the infrastructure to cover different applications and devices which are used to access d