Why is patching important? It's easy enough to ignore security updates, but failing to patch leaves your organization vulnerable to a number of risks. For one, patching operating systems is key to protecting your network against attackers. Statistics show that up to 60 percent of all data breaches are related to unpatched vulnerabilities.
Regardless of what operating system an enterprise is using, unpatched vulnerabilities remain one of the top threats to security. Patching operating systems is critical for keeping your organization secure, up to date, and compliant with security regulations. Defending against malware, DDoS attacks and other threats requires a patch management system that works and is kept up-to-date. And with the rise of automated patch management solutions, patching for enterprises has never been easier.
What Happens If You Don't Patch?
If you don't patch regularly, any number of things can happen. Some organizations take what they consider to be a “calculated risk” by believing firewalls and antivirus technology will catch any problems before too much damage is done. However, malware continues to get more sophisticated and these newer threats are leaving firewalls and antivirus technologies in the dust.
More, an estimated 50 percent of all information system vulnerabilities are related to out-of-date patches. The evidence suggests that firewalls and antivirus technology, while good to have, are not going to be enough to stop every attacker.
While the cost of a data breach can vary widely depending on your organization's size, industry and location, the general consensus is that the cost of breaches is going up every year. In the United States, the average cost of a data breach currently sits at $8.19 million – up from $7.91 million in 2018.
Larger organizations often have much more costly breaches: Equifax's 2017 data breach reached a total cost of $1.4 billion this spring. Personal data for 148 million Americans (or, 56 percent of US adults) was exposed. So in addition to costing Equifax an incredible amount of money, that one data breach also compromised personal data for over half the country.
And in the end, the Equifax breach was linked back to a known vulnerability with an available security fix. The patch was released two months before Equifax got hacked.
Patching Operating Systems
It is not just the cost of an attack that organizations need to be concerned about. New regulations for cybersecurity are being rolled out left and right. Patching is key to the maintenance of a secure system, and without it, you may not be in compliance with security standards for your industry. PCI compliance is essential for the payment card industry, for example – and patching can help you meet PCI compliance standards. Failure to meet the security standards for your industry can lead to expensive fines or other penalties.
Failure to patch can also lead to disruptions in user productivity, which may sound counter-intuitive, given that many organizations put off patching to avoid interrupting their business. But an unpatched system is vulnerable – and those vulnerabilities can lead to lost work time, on top of everything else.
The cost of not patching adds up quickly; it's just not worth the risk. For organizations of all sizes, effective patch management is essential to good cyber hygiene and overall security. Patching operating systems has long been regarded as a time-consuming, laborious process, but automated patch management solutions can change that. Automated patching can help your organization streamline its patching process while also allowing you to remediate vulnerabilities in real-time, and much more.
Patching is integral to any system's overall security, and there are many reasons why organizations should make patch management a priority.
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 the aperture of attack by more than 80% with just half the effort of traditional solutions.
Cloud-native 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-native 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.