IT SecurityVulnerability

Reduce My Attack Surface Through Patching

By March 16, 2018 No Comments
Reduce Attack Surface

As the number of endpoints and 3rd party applications in your infrastructure grows, so does the attack surface. As you know, the larger the attack surface, the more points of entry for malicious actors into your network. Every endpoint is susceptible to attack if not properly managed. Companies must vigilantly maintain their attack surface to prevent breaches, such as those seen in the massive Yahoo and Equifax data breaches. Both companies had large and varied attack surfaces, with thousands of employees, systems, and endpoints. Their inability to effectively manage it allowed hackers to access their networks and cause long-lasting damage.

To avoid costly attacks like these, companies must understand the weaknesses within their infrastructure and know how to minimize possible entry points. It has been found that the most common causes of data breaches are phishing scams and exploitation of unpatched vulnerabilities, which are both preventable forms of attack. With proper employee education and strict permission setting, phishing scams can be avoided or their effects mitigated. Unpatched vulnerabilities are similarly preventable, as by definition they are vulnerabilities for which a patch has already been developed. Once applied, patches remove the possibility that an attacker can gain access through that particular entry point, but when left unapplied they present a large risk to networks.

By quickly patching all known vulnerabilities, you can significantly reduce your attack surface. However, many organizations fail to update all systems in a timely manner due to several factors, including the tedious nature of manual patching, difficulty patching multiple systems at once, and poor visibility into what systems need to be patched at any given time. Visibility is especially crucial when it comes to managing and reducing your attack surface. You can’t manage what you can’t see, and in turn, keep your infrastructure protected.

Modern cloud based patch automation solutions including Automox are built to solve legacy issues with patching and in doing so, allow organizations to reduce their attack surface quickly and effectively. Automox removes the time-consuming elements of patch management by automating the entire process, from identifying necessary patches to downloading and applying them on a schedule that you control. This can save you up to 90% of the time it usually takes to patch, and enable you to focus on other weak points in your attack surface.

Automox also reduces the need for you to use multiple patching solutions for the various operating systems within your infrastructure. Modern infrastructures consist of thousands of endpoints, which are often a mix of Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems, in addition to hundreds of 3rd party applications which all have known vulnerabilities. By allowing you to patch all systems from one centralized solution, Automox reduces patching complexity while ensuring that no OS, browser, or application is left unpatched.

Automox also provides full system visibility by utilizing a lightweight cloud-based agent which is installed on all endpoints. Once installed, the agent and Automox’s central policy engine can keep track of all installed applications, OS versions, and unapplied patches across a network, and send alerts when critical patches have not yet been applied. This gives IT teams the ability to view all known vulnerabilities within their attack surface at a glance, and take action to quickly patch them.

Automox is a simple and effective solution for reducing your attack surface through regular, automated patching. Automox reduces the time-to-patch, giving attackers less time to exploit known vulnerabilities. To try Automox for free, sign up for our free 15-day trial, no credit card required.

Holly Hamann

Author Holly Hamann

Holly Hamann serves as Automox's Chief Marketing Officer and is an entrepreneur and start-up veteran. She has helped launch six tech companies in the social media, content, video, and marketing software industries and specializes in SaaS software marketing, content marketing, and influencer marketing. She is an American Marketing Association "Marketer of the Year" recipient and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science.

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