Patch Management Policy- Creating A Patch Management Policy Can Be Simple With Automation
What is Patch Management Policy?
The Patch Management Lifecycle entails a variety of essential system management tasks, such as procuring, testing, and deploying numerous software or existing application fixes. The patch that has to be updated is determined by the computer system that administers it. The system administrator ensures that patches are installed correctly and that all associated procedures are documented according to the needed configurations. This makes the procedure simple and straightforward.
Patch management is a feature of most software businesses’ internal processes for resolving software version concerns. They also provide documentation for the current system and software tool. Some fixes are functionality-based, necessitating extensive testing. The goal of software patches is to correct a problem that was discovered after the software was released. This is primarily done to determine if there is any potential security risk.
Over time, Patch Management has seen significant adjustments. Today’s game is very different. Patches used to be stand-alone code modules available on external media when software didn’t have a licence. The administrator would simply copy and paste the code into the existing software package. Things have now gone to the cloud.
Patches are available over the worldwide IP network, and they are automatically updated, which analyses the system and notifies you of any updates that are available. This allows the administrator to determine if there is anything further that needs to be done to keep the system working smoothly.
Patch Management Policy Best Practices
Every system administrator has been challenged by the increasing complexity of IT infrastructure and networks, as well as the ever-increasing threat of malware. The frequency with which software is installed and updated has increased substantially, as has the pace with which the vulnerability is exploited. Patch Management is handled by the system, which executes automated operations while the administrator manages the timely release of patches.
- Maintain an accurate inventory of all systems, including operating systems and software versions, physical locations, and IP addresses. Commercial software tools are also available. Keep track of your network’s inventory at regular intervals.
- Standardize the production system and make a plan for the many software versions now in use. When an upgrade is scheduled in the future, this will make your job easier.
- Make a list of all security-related components, such as firewalls, routers, and antivirus software, as well as their setup. Keep a note of non-standard configurations as well; this will allow you to act quickly in the event of a vulnerability.
- Keep a list of vulnerabilities and write a report about it, then compare the reported vulnerabilities to the inventory list. Separate the vulnerabilities that could cause harm to your system now.
- Maintain a committed team to do this assignment and oversee the process.
- Assess the risk and vulnerability, then categorise the risk. Servers and systems that are both susceptible and mission-critical can be found. You can see if the firewall is stopping the threat by testing it. This allows you to categorise and prioritise the risk. The degree of the danger, the impact of the vulnerability, and the cost of recovery/mitigation should all be on your list.
- Finally, after you’ve completed all of the preceding procedures, apply the patch. You now know which patches need to be installed or updated as a system. The most crucial aspect of patch management is evaluating the tool and determining how well it meets your needs.
Policy and Procedures for Patch Management
During the cycle, the patch management policy aids in making decisions. The policy specifies whether all patches should be automated, manual, or default, as well as the patching approach. A categorization must be made depending on the severity of the security concern, followed by a solution. Patch Management is a collection of rules and solutions that apply to all patches. The goal is to set up a system that prevents load and compatibility issues.
All components of the IT infrastructure are covered by the policy, including computers, servers, software, routers & switches, peripherals, databases, and storage.
The policy should be communicated to users. Admin and IT workers are in charge of keeping the system clean and secure, as well as ensuring that patches are updated on a regular basis.
Ensure that risks are anticipated, because without efficient patch management, systems may become unavailable, which might be caused by viruses and malware exploiting systems or out-of-date software making systems unstable.
- Set the patch update mode to Automated or do it manually. Anti-virus and other security software must be reviewed and updated to the most recent version.
- If the operating system is Windows, the patch management tools should be set up such that the newest Microsoft security updates are automatically downloaded. The patches will be examined and applied as needed.
- Firmware patches are checked on a regular basis on the website of the supplier who offers servers, PCs, tablets, printers, switches, routers, and other peripherals.
- Linux systems should be patched with the necessary patches, then tested and implemented.
- The IT department will be in charge of patch clearance and ownership of all technical updates, including operating systems, software, antivirus, servers, workstations, patches, and device drivers.
How to create creating a New Patch Management Policy
From the Policies interface, the administrator can create new patch management policies to automatically and periodically install patches, updates, and third-party applications available from the patch management server onto individual endpoints or groups of endpoints covered by specific tags, all of which are registered for the specified customer account.
Adding a new policy
- From the ‘Customer Account’ drop-down menu, select the customer account.
- By selecting the ‘Policies’ tab, you may access the policies interface.
- At the upper right, click the ‘Add Policy’ button. The dialogue ‘Create New Policy’ will appear:
Administrators can use the Patch Management module to build rules that will automatically apply patches to endpoints on a set schedule. Creating a policy will automatically update specified endpoints without the need for administrator participation. The type of patch (operating system or third-party), the operation schedule, the target endpoints, and several other factors such as patch severity are all used to create policies. The policy commands are executed by ‘Cron’ in the patch management module.