Delayed Patching Is a Risky Proposition

Staying up to date with your patch management can pose significant challenges for IT professionals in any industry. As recent breaches such as WannaCry and others have exhibited, many companies continue to struggle in keeping up with patch management.

In fact, a recent report titled “A Growing Risk Ignored: Critical Updates” found that over 2,000 organizations run more than 50 percent of their computers on outdated versions of an operating system, making them almost three times as likely to experience a publicly disclosed breach. Additionally, the report revealed that over 8,500 organizations have more than 50 percent of their computers running an out-of-date version of an internet browser, doubling their chances of a breach.

Due to insecure programming practices, many common vulnerabilities are easy to find and relatively simple for hackers and bad actors to exploit. The lack of system patching is still a large source of these vulnerabilities, and patch configuration and maintenance — or the lack thereof — can open the door for breaches ranging from ransomware to data disclosure attacks.

According to the 2018 Vulnerability Statistics Report, on average, 73 percent of all vulnerabilities are network vulnerabilities while 27 percent were associated with web applications. Compounding the issue, the report also revealed that nearly 20 percent of all network vulnerabilities are related to patching issues.

As we should all know by now, every organization, no matter the industry, should apply security updates for their operating systems and critical applications as soon as possible following their release. So why do so many organizations continue to put their most sensitive information at risk by delaying patching?

From the sheer amount of patches organizations need to keep up with to the notion that patching is a time-consuming manual process, not to mention the lack of resources, end-user resistance and the potential for creating additional problems, there are a variety of reasons why organizations delay patching.

If your organization isn’t prepared to apply patches and updates regularly, vulnerabilities in your network and applications will inevitably be exploited. As threats grow increasingly sophisticated, firewalls and antivirus software have become less successful at detecting a breaches — and the cost to recover from a cyberattack has increased in recent years.

While the cost to recover from an attack varies widely based on the company, its size and attack type, the harm done to a breached company’s reputation can last for years —  well beyond the period of recovery. While network administrators are well aware of the risks associated with delayed patching, patch management is often overlooked or left incomplete due to the difficulty of manually patching modern, cloud-based and mixed-OS environments.

Because delayed patching is a risky proposition, the need for a fast and effective vulnerability patching solution has never been more pronounced. Thankfully, the next generation of patching automation has arrived in the form of Automox’s easy-to-install, cloud-based, automated patching solution.

Our lightweight agent allows IT professionals to control their level of patch management automation, flow processes and configuration enforcement, all from a single dashboard. Additionally, the platform can patch any system and any software in any location, which simplifies the patch management process and reduces the time spent on patching by up to 90 percent. And, according to the 2017 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), time to patch plays a critical role in the risk exposure to your network, “vulnerabilities are either patched during that initial cycle or tend to hang around for a long time.”

Quit delaying your patch management. Delayed patching is a risky proposition, and there are existing solutions that not only significantly reduce the amount of time to apply patches, but that also ensure organizations reach completely patched status within hours of a release, not days, weeks, months or even years.

About Automox

Facing growing threats and a rapidly expanding attack surface, understaffed and alert-fatigued organizations need more efficient ways to eliminate their exposure to vulnerabilities. Automox is a modern cyber hygiene platform that closes aperture of attack by more than 80% with just half the effort of traditional solutions.

Cloud-based and globally available, Automox enforces OS & third-party patch management, security configurations, and custom scripting across Windows, Mac, and Linux from a single intuitive console. IT and SecOps can quickly gain control and share visibility of on-prem, remote and virtual endpoints without the need to deploy costly infrastructure.

Experience modern, cloud-based patch management today with a 15-day free trial of Automox and start recapturing more than half the time you're currently spending on managing your attack surface. Automox dramatically reduces corporate risk while raising operational efficiency to deliver best-in-class security outcomes, faster and with fewer resources.

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