Can Your Business Afford To Ignore Patch Management?

If you’re not already aware of patch management, this is a service your business may not be able to afford to ignore. In a nutshell, patch management services ensure that all your software updates are performed company-wide.

You may wonder why that is important. It’s actually very important.

Here’s why.

Hackers target vulnerabilities in software to infiltrate a business network. There are potential gateways bad actors can exploit on every device that has access to your business network.

Software notoriously develops potential gateways bad actors can exploit. That’s why software companies consistently release security patches.

Patches are basically pieces of code that repair a vulnerable gateway in the software. If the software is not updated on every device, the potential exists for hackers to get on to your entire business network.

And that could destroy your business altogether.

Data Privacy Laws Could Sink Your Business

Under the terms of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations businesses that collect the personal data of European nationals (including email addresses), have an obligation to protect that data.

Data protection fundamentally means forbidding businesses to sell your data to third parties. But GDPR also includes protecting data from being stolen. And 60% of small businesses fold after six months of a data breach.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the administrator for GDPR penalties, considers inadequate cybersecurity defenses a punishable offense.

Moreover, regulators have stated that companies that fail to update software with the latest security patch are legally held accountable and will face a “lawsuit”.

However, it’s not the penalty handed out by regulators that is the most damaging fallout of a data breach. GDPR stipulates that companies that are infiltrated by hackers must report the breach to affected parties. Subsequently, brands lose around 66% of their customers and struggle to survive. It’s not hackers that are destroying small businesses, it’s the lawmakers.

What is Patch Management and Why Does Your Business Need It?

Software is prone to vulnerabilities once it is released. Weak links in software can be exploited by sophisticated threat actors once the product is in the marketplace.

Tech companies send millions of dollars to identify and eliminate security risks in their software products once it is in the public domain. This is why you often see the likes of Apple, Microsoft and Google regularly updating ‘system updates’ on their operating system.

Once a patch is released, it is the obligation of the customer to perform an upgrade. In some cases, upgrades are performed automatically from a remote location.

This is patch management.

However, not all software companies have the capacity to perform security updates remotely.

When you consider the number of applications your business relies on to be operational, you can appreciate there are security updates being released every week.

That means every week, every one of your employees has to perform a software update. This can be inconvenient, disruptive and frustrating. C-suite executives also have to trust all their employees to perform the update.

This is when you need a patch management service. Patch management services offered by IT support professionals ensure every device on your network is updated with the latest security patch once it is released by a software company.

If an update is not activated once a security patch is released and a hacker accesses private data on your business network, you are in trouble with legislators and will face legal sanctions.

And that could spell the end of your business.