Patch management is the process of distributing and applying updates to software. These patches are often necessary to correct errors (also referred to as “vulnerabilities” or “bugs”) in the software.
Common areas that will need patches include operating systems, applications, and embedded systems (like network equipment). When a vulnerability is found after the release of a piece of software, a patch can be used to fix it. Doing so helps ensure that assets in your environment are not susceptible to exploitation.
Patch management is important for the following key reasons:
Security: Patch management fixes vulnerabilities on your software and applications that are susceptible to cyber-attacks, helping your organization reduce its security risk.
System uptime: Patch management ensures your software and applications are kept up-to-date and run smoothly, supporting system uptime.
Compliance: With the continued rise in cyber-attacks, organizations are often required by regulatory bodies to maintain a certain level of compliance. Patch management is a necessary
piece of adhering to compliance standards.
Feature improvements: Patch management can go beyond software bug fixes to also include feature/functionality updates. Patches can be critical to ensuring that you have the latest and greatest that a product has to offer.