Unpatched Endpoints? What You Should Know

Unpatched endpoints can pose a significant security threat for any system, especially given the grim statistics on patch deployment across endpoints. 

Survey data shows that 80 percent of CISOs and CIOs were shocked to discover that patches they thought were successfully deployed to all endpoints failed to update endpoints across their entire network. Unpatched endpoints that go undetected can be especially treacherous: If you think you've patched for something, you might assume the threat of attack on that vulnerability is gone – leaving the doors to exploitation wide open for malicious actors. 

Automated patch management can increase endpoint visibility and help you ensure that patches are deployed across all devices on your network successfully. Failure to patch drives up to 60 percent of all data breaches. As attackers grow more sophisticated, automation represents an increasingly valuable tool for defense. 

Unpatched Endpoints Are a Major Vulnerability

Taking a look at the 2017 WannaCry outbreak shows that unpatched endpoints are a major threat for organizations of all sizes. With losses to the tune of $4 billion, you'd think patching would be a top priority – yet reports show that even in 2019, the EternalBlue exploit responsible for WannaCry and NotPetya is still being used to spread malware across unpatched devices and systems. 

According to an article written for SC Magazine, patching difficulties are responsible for a majority of all successful breaches. This article explains that many organizations are relying on legacy infrastructure to address their endpoint management, which can make the process of seeking out unpatched or noncompliant endpoints difficult and time-consuming. With inefficient and incomplete legacy architecture, it can take security professionals up to 90 days to achieve even just 80 percent completeness with patch deployment. This means your endpoints are vulnerable for far too long, especially in the case of zero-days or publicly disclosed vulnerabilities. 

Patching shouldn't be viewed as an inconvenience; it is an essential part of good cyber hygiene and is key to minimizing your attack surface. But for many IT professionals, patch fatigue is a reality. Patching can be complex and time-consuming – especially across endpoints. 

Unpatched endpoints are routinely named as one of the top dangers in endpoint security. This is largely thanks to a combination of poor visibility and outdated, manual patching processes that reduce efficiency. 

Solving the Patching Problem 

As InfoSec Institute explains, failure to take patch management seriously can put your endpoint security in jeopardy. Automated patch management is a valuable tool for your security arsenal for a variety of reasons. Not only does it help streamline the process of deploying patches across your network, automated tools – like Automox – increase endpoint visibility as well, making it easier for industry professionals to properly manage their network. 

With automated patch management, security teams can deploy updates more efficiently and in less time. Long intervals between the time a vulnerability is discovered and the time it takes to patch for it are what bad actors are relying on when they go in for an attack. And as Palo Alto Networks contends, attackers use automated tools for exploitation  – it makes perfect sense for organizations to use automated tools for security, too. There are many automated prevention tools available today, and automated patch management can offer security professionals a powerful solution to a growing problem. 

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 the 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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