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Cross-platform Patch management – your Cyber Security Superhero!

September 17, 2015 by Jeremy Lambert

The importance of cross-platform patch management can’t be overrated. This cyber security superhero is a secret weapon that no company with IT resources or network devices (yes, including Mac users) can afford to ignore.

Like any good superhero, a robust patch management plan keeps it’s extraordinary powers hidden but is always working behind the scenes and ready to counter any day-to-day crimes and threats.  

So, what is it?

Patch Management is a strategy for managing patches and updates for operating systems, software applications and technologies.  

It is one of the five key controls mandated by the UK Cyber Essentials scheme, a government-backed, industry supported scheme that aims to help organisations protect themselves against common cyber attacks.  The UK Government increasingly requires organisations tendering for certain contracts to provide evidence of a Cyber Essentials certification.

New and increasingly complex vulnerabilities are a constant threat and networks with computers and devices that aren’t kept up to date with the latest patches pose a genuine and serious security risk.  

A recent report from Verizon revealed that poor patch management practices were a major cause of data security breaches.  The report found that 99.9% of exploited vulnerabilities were compromised more than a year after the vulnerability was disclosed. Furthermore, that 97% of exploits observed in 2014 were the result of just ten published vulnerabilities.

No matter how secure you believe your network to be, even companies with high-end security solutions leave themselves vulnerable by neglecting the security basics, like patch management. Recent figures from Venafi revealed that a year after the Heartbleed vulnerability was disclosed in April 2014, 74% of Global 2000 organisations with public-facing systems remain vulnerable having failed to take all the necessary steps to fully re-mediate.

Be patch perfect

Patch management whilst super-important can be super-tedious and time consuming. At Rubicon we make it easy by automating the entire process.

Everything from downloading and deployment of missing patches to remediation is handled efficiently on Windows and Mac servers, desktops or notebooks can all be covered. Additional features include patching Windows as well as Microsoft and non-Microsoft applications (Adobe, Mozilla, Java Runtime, etc.). And with Macs and Apple devices flooding into offices these days we are also experienced in OS X updates along with updates to third-party Mac applications.  

Whatever your platform, we will automatically update your systems when updates to existing software are available and when vendors have indicated that those patches are critical.

Increased user productivity is a happy byproduct since we ensure that all applications are compatible with each other, limiting potential conflicts or crashes. Integration with Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) is included, so if your computers and servers are configured to get a WSUS repository, only approved patches will be updated.

Learn more about our Cross-platform patch management service – part of Rubicon’s Business-PRO support. Alternatively, visit our cross-platform management solutions here.

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