Cloud patch management takes the process of keeping your laptops, desktops, servers and other devices free from vulnerabilities and centralizes it in the cloud. When programmers write code, there are often small mistakes, or “bugs”, that hackers can exploit to get confidential information. To fix these problems, companies like Microsoft and Adobe write new code, or “patches”, that replace the broken portion of code.
WHAT IS CLOUD PATCH MANAGEMENT?
Windows, Mac, Linux and Third-Party Software Updates from the Cloud
“On premise”, non-cloud based, patch management solutions require 1,000’s of dollars and hours of time invested in processes and server infrastructure. The Cloud simplifies and strengthens patch management by moving all the infrastructure, content and device management to a centralized environment that is globally available 24×7.
A major problem facing corporations is that many of their devices are distributed outside the office and seldom reconnect to the servers that are physically in a main office. By implementing a cloud based service, companies can reach all their roaming devices whenever they have an internet connection. Adding a Cloud based solution to your patch management process bridges the gap when you don’t know where a device is or when it will next connect. Without the cloud, you can leave a weak link in your network that is just the key an attacker needs to wreak havoc and breach your security.
Cloud Patch Management
Cloud patch management involves the never ending cycle of tracking every new release of a code change, verifying which versions of a product require this change, and then making sure that the patch is installed on devices in a timely manner. Multiply this by the number of employees and the number of their devices and you have an untenable problem. To start solving the problem, Cloud based patch management solutions run a Network Device Discovery. Through this discovery process, IT gets a list of all the desktops, laptops, servers, and other devices located both inside and outside of your network. Patch Management without the cloud leaves a gaping hole in your security because you are only touching devices that check in with the main office – this ignores any employees who work from home, travel, or may simply use a laptop.
In 2003 Microsoft introduced “Patch Tuesday”, a single day each month when fixes to existing problems are released in bulk. Since then, we’ve seen multiple horror stories with these releases; times when the solution introduces more risk than the original program. A bad patch is like a bomb waiting to detonate. When you remove the cloud element from patch management you can put yourself the position of loading a bomb on a laptop with no recourse to diffuse it. Cloud solutions should be constantly vigilant, looking for a device to reconnect to the internet and capable of removing a bad patch as easily as it was distributed.
It’s Not Just About the Tool
With an avalanche of content aimed at a mountain of devices, manually tracking or noticing another device could easily be missed. Usually companies have to rely on installing an agent, or tracker, on new devices to make sure they stay patched. A cloud based solution that is also agentless lets you automatically find, manage, and patch devices without installing software on every computer.
Critical patch updates typically involve security, privacy and reliability, cloud solutions can verify that all devices, both on premise and remote, have the latest patches before they expose proprietary data to risk.
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