Why patch management is critical for business security

Why patch management is critical for business security

One of the most critical aspects of maintaining your network’s security is software patching and timely vulnerability updates. Software companies are constantly updating their programs to defend against new security threats, and if you fail to implement these updates, you’re left vulnerable. This makes effective patch management vital to long-term network security. In this blog post, we explore the importance of software patching, the risks associated with outdated software, and how your business can benefit from automated patch management.

Why are software patching and vulnerability updates important?

Software patching involves applying updates provided by software vendors to fix bugs, improve functionality, and address security vulnerabilities. These updates, which are free, help your business in a wide range of ways that you may not realize, such as:

    • Enhanced security: Cybercriminals are always developing new kinds of attacks and probing popular software for vulnerabilities they can exploit. Security patches put new defenses in place to counter emerging threats and close holes in your software’s security.
    • Improved performance and functionality: Patches not only address your security issues but also often include enhancements that improve software performance and functionality. Furthermore, if you’re experiencing bugs that cause your software to crash or perform poorly, you may need an update to ensure that your systems run smoothly and efficiently.
  • Reduced downtime: Software tools that are integrated perform best when all of them are running their latest versions. Incompatibility leads to slowdowns and crashes, leading to IT downtime.

What happens if you don’t update your software?

Using outdated software creates risks to your business beyond poor productivity. These risks include, but are not limited to:

Increased vulnerability to cyberattacks

When a vulnerability is discovered in software used frequently by businesses, cybercriminals race to create new attacks to exploit the weakness. Software companies usually react quickly to send out fixes, but if you aren’t updating they won’t help you. As a result, you’ll be left with vulnerable software that cybercriminals are actively working to exploit, making you a prime target.

Data loss

In extreme cases, the crashes and incompatibility issues caused by out-of-date software can destroy or corrupt your vital data. Even if you have a solution in place, recovering lost data can be time-consuming and costly, and in some cases, data may be irretrievable. This outcome is rare, but it only takes one instance to cripple your business, perhaps permanently.


Like most modern businesses, your company is likely required to follow data security regulations, such as GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, or one of many others. Most of these regulations require you to operate the most up-to-date versions of your software and cybersecurity tools to address the potential vulnerabilities mentioned above. Failure to keep software updated may lead to fines and other penalties. 

The benefits of automated patch management

Unfortunately, patching high-grade business software is not as easy as updating an app on your phone. It can be tedious, time-consuming, and error-prone, and is made worse the bigger your network is. Fortunately, automated patch management solutions are available that make this endeavor easier.

Automated patch management programs can benefit your business in a variety of ways, including:

  • Saving you time by automatically checking for, testing, and scheduling the latest patches for all your integrated software
  • Reducing the workload of your employees by deploying patches automatically, letting them focus on more important tasks
  • Minimizing the risk of human error that comes with manual patching due to its complexity and time requirement
  • Addressing vulnerabilities that you may miss by automatically checking your whole network, including operating systems, applications, and third-party programs
  • Providing auto-generated reports and actionable data to verify security, address issues, and prove compliance during audits

Setting up automated patch management

Implementing an automated patch management solution into your network is a complex task that you want to do correctly from the outset to get the best results and prevent future problems. If your team lacks the significant expertise required to effectively integrate and configure one of these solutions, contact outsourceIT. As the leading IT services provider in the DC Metro area, we have the knowledge and skills to assess needs and secure your company without hampering your productivity.

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