Managing Patches in Diverse Environments
Rolling out patches to plug the vulnerabilities in software
But just as patch management has become more difficult, it has become more important. The number of attacks from hackers, the sophistication of the attacks, and the speed with which they are launched increases every year. Hackers can deploy “zero-day” attacks as soon as a vendor discloses a vulnerability, but before the vendor can release a patch. While attacks on, and patches for, Microsoft Windows get the most attention, other popular applications such as Adobe Acrobat – and open-source software such as Linux – draw more fire from hackers as more organizations rely on them for missioncritical systems. Preventing such attacks has become a top concern for CEOs and boards of directors because of stricter regulatory requirements to protect critical systems, and the negative publicity that results from lost or compromised data.
For all these reasons, IT and security administrators need a patch management solution that provides coverage for all the platforms they manage. Ideally, such a solution would provide a centralized, common infrastructure that allows them to cost-effectively gather, deploy and track the installation of the thousands of security patches released by key hardware, software and networking vendors on whom their businesses rely.