Automation Is the Key to Improving Time-to-Remediate and Time-to-Patch

Cybercriminals are notorious for their swift actions. Once a zero-day exploit is discovered, they waste no time infecting numerous systems in the hours that follow. This malicious activity persists for weeks, and in some cases, even months, due to the sluggish response of many organizations in implementing necessary patches and taking remedial measures.

Responding to a zero-day exploit can be a laborious and time-consuming process, especially for organizations lacking automated systems. The response time spans from just a few hours to several weeks, depending on the complexity of the exploit and the efficiency of the remediation process employed by the organization. One has to consider the time required to identify, validate, and fix the vulnerability, plus the additional time needed to deploy the patch across all affected systems. In many instances, the longer the time-to-remediate or resolve (TTR) and time-to-patch, the more severe the potential consequences, underscoring the critical role of automation in cyber risk response.

Similarly, if cybercriminals unearth a weakness in the organizational defenses or manage to compromise a user account, they don’t waste time capitalizing on it. Some launch a major attack in seconds by unleashing ransomware or other malware. Others use that foothold to gain access to privileged accounts or mission-critical systems. They move rapidly and then quickly cover their tracks. Their goal is not a smash-and-grab raid. They want to learn the workings and finances of the organization unobserved while they determine the most lucrative and opportune way to profit from their efforts. When they strike, the only thing preventing devastation is the ability of the organization to respond effectively with the minimum of TTR.

Rapid Patching Minimizes Time-to-Remediate Emergencies

Many cybersecurity response emergencies can be traced back to failure to effectively and speedily patch. The correlation between cybersecurity emergencies and a failure to patch quickly is largely about the window of opportunity. Cybercriminals strive to exploit the vulnerability before the organization can patch it. This situation often leads to a lag time between the discovery of a flaw and its patching – a window that cybercriminals exploit. This is why automation is so crucial in reducing the time-to-patch.

Despite this reality, the majority of organizational breaches occur due to the exploitation of known vulnerabilities for which patches exist but were not implemented. The latest Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) sheds light on the fact that unpatched vulnerabilities, such as Log4j, were among the most severe incidents reported in 2022. The report emphasizes the criticality of promptly patching known vulnerabilities and swiftly addressing zero-day exploits and other attack vectors. In essence, organizations with poor time-to-patch and time-to-remediate (TTR) metrics expose themselves to greater risks.

How Can Enterprises Reduce Their Time-to-Patch and Time-to-Remediate?

Automation is the ultimate solution for reducing time-to-patch and TTR. With the sheer number of patches that require deployment across numerous endpoints scattered across various clouds, systems, and networks, manual patching simply cannot keep up. By automating the patching process, organizations can significantly minimize the gap between identification and remediation of vulnerabilities, thereby reducing the window of opportunity for cybercriminals to launch an attack. When patches are deployed rapidly and effectively, it lessens the occurrence and severity of cybersecurity emergencies.

Automation can help enterprises accomplish such things as:

  • Comprehensive scanning to detect all endpoints and devices
  • Rapid patch deployment
  • Patch and remediation workflow automation, ideally with no scripting required
  • Pre-checks of available system, network, and endpoints resources to ensure patches and remediations can be deployed
  • Testing of patches before full production deployment
  • Verification of patch installation

With these items addressed by automation, time-to-patch and TTR can be brought down to hours or days versus weeks, months, or years.

Syxsense Cortex: The Ultimate Scanning and Remediation Automation Tool

Syxsense Cortex simplifies complex IT and security processes via automation. It is a drag-and-drop visual editor that removes the need for scripting expertise. With an ever-growing library of pre-built workflows and templates, organizations can lower their IT and cyber risk as it pertains to vulnerabilities, reduce the burdens of tedious tasks for IT and security teams, and enable them to focus on critical business initiatives.

Syxsense Cortex enables users to combine logic, approvals, and actions to automate complex processes and bring an end to long patch and remediation timelines. Syxsense Cortex also makes it possible to deploy several software updates simultaneously and effortlessly. Its script-free capability minimizes repetitive manual work and reduces the time needed to complete complex tasks. It streamlines the management and remediation of security issues enabling them to be detected much sooner. Further benefits include the visualization of workflows and processes ranging from inventory to scans, patch prioritization and supersedence, patch verification, detection and remediation of vulnerabilities, and a variety of other IT management and security actions.

Never again wonder about your true security and management posture. Syxsense can help you realize the benefits of automation while providing real-time monitoring and alerting that will keep you in the know on potential threats as well as any changes that occur in your environment. And then leverage Syxsense Cortex to reduce your risks automatically.

See how quickly you can improve your endpoint and security posture with Syxsense.