Can you rely on patch management to safeguard against an attack?

Our Blogs 5th August, 2021

patch management

According to McAfee, the average enterprise has 464 applications deployed in its environment. In an effort to provide improved customer and staff experiences, apps have become the go-to for everything from payment processing to customer relationship management and even application integration.

As your internal IT staff will be well aware, each new application that is deployed increases the attack surface and vulnerabilities of your enterprise because they introduce new entry points for attackers to exploit.

Traditionally, patch management is the method used to deal with newly discovered vulnerabilities within apps. Application developers release patches as they identify weaknesses, and these are meant to plug the hole and eliminate the risk.

However, with so much at stake, can your enterprise really rely on patch management to eliminate the risk of an attack via any one of your applications or operating systems?

Relying on patch management means placing your trust in the app’s developer to first find any potential security threat, and then develop an effective solution in a timely way to keep your business safe.

Even world leaders such as Microsoft don’t always get it right. Only this year did they identify a vulnerability in their Windows Defender application that went undetected for over a decade!

When the average cost of recovery from a single ransomware attack for businesses in Asia Pacific and Japan is an estimated US$2.34 million, any risk of a data breach is a risk that’s simply too high.  

How to regain control of vulnerabilities in apps

With this in mind, it makes sense to invest in the very best in vulnerability management to detect and remediate vulnerabilities before threat actors get a chance to exploit them.  

This is especially true when you consider the wide range of other vulnerabilities potentially lurking within your IT systems. For example, threat actors rely on finding weak links and unsuspecting users who will accidentally run a code on your internal network so they can get a foothold into your core network.

It’s a lot for IT staff to worry about that somewhere, at some time, a user will fall prey to a bad link or phishing attack that can beat even your best controls – especially if your internal network is replete with unknown vulnerabilities, which could then become open season for any number of threat actors.

One way that enterprises can fight back against these risks is by taking a proactive approach to vulnerability management.

This entails more than purchasing an out-of-the-box vulnerability tool, which often only generates a report on the potentially hundreds of vulnerabilities in your system before emailing it to a person in IT. It’s no good having a report that tells you there is a problem, or that you do indeed have countless vulnerabilities to worry about.

What you need to know is:

  • Which vulnerabilities do I tackle first?
  • What remediation strategies should I use?
  • How do I ensure remediation was complete and successful?

While most vulnerability tools will give basic and generic recommendations on how to remediate a vulnerability, they may not be the most current or effective. In addition, a skilled security analyst is then required to make an informed decision about how the vulnerability fits into the organisation’s risk profile. Otherwise, a simple change to address one vulnerability could have a damaging effect on the rest of the environment.

By having appropriately skilled security analysts follow the full trail for you – from identification through to full remediation – you can rest assured that your vulnerabilities are being addressed even before threat actors know they are there.   

Harbour IT’s own Vulnerability Management as a Service

While a vulnerability assessment is one-off, vulnerability management takes continual action to create a more secure network.

At Harbour IT, we offer a complete vulnerability management service designed to address the full range of potential vulnerabilities within your IT environment.

This includes vulnerability scanning that will pick up on security issues within any application potentially long before the app developer has released their next patch update.  

You can rely on us for:

  • daily monitoring of your threat feed
  • prioritised risk reports
  • immediate alerts to high risks
  • skilled security engineers at your disposal
  • managed remediation through to completion

You’ll never be stuck staring at a report wondering what needs to happen next or how to fix it. In addition, your IT team can spend less of their day worrying about the vast array of vulnerabilities that could lead to a cyber attack, and instead focus their time and energy on driving your business forward.

To get proactive about vulnerability management in your business, please contact us.

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