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Security In Context

Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting your critical IT infrastructure.

Patching Vulnerabilities the Right Way

Post by Peter McCalister June 13, 2012

Malicious counterparts, the bad guys, are constantly finding ways to attack through flaws in a network. Perfection of software is novel, but by no means a reality. Vendors will provide patches to flaws and are available as soon as the discovery is made, but what you do with that is what is most important. Difficulties with patch management present serious security risks and as a result, resource drain to stay up-to-date on the latest fixes.

Improving the efficiency and effectiveness off patch processes is the key. In an 2011 eEye Vulnerability Management Trends Report, 31 percent of IT professionals do not have enough personnel to patch vulnerabilities; 18 percent do not have an integrated patching solution.

There are a couple of ways to tackle this problem.

It is important to look at what is being patched at what cost, and if an upgrade can be cost effective. In a May 2012 whitepaper by Microsoft Corp. and IDC, it states that 42 percent of companies still run Windows XP over 7, and a result is an annual cost of $701 per PC more annually for IT labor costs. Doing this can leave more room to modernize IT investments.

The most beneficial is to have an integrated patch management solution. IT security teams can quickly fix weaknesses for Microsoft and third-party applications using instant or scheduled patching, and see the big picture with end-to-end reporting on the entire patch management cycle. Agent-less patching processes greatly reduce effort and expense, as well as build on the Microsoft WSUS engine that many organizations already use.

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