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Patches Aren’t Just for Scarecrows

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Tim Hetzel

Scarecrows have patched overalls to hold their straw bodies together. If their overalls get a hole, the straw falls out, causing the poor scarecrow to end up on the ground as a pile of hay. Not good. Scarecrows need to keep their pants patched. And IT teams need to patch their systems, or they leave themselves open to dangerous vulnerabilities.

Patches Fix Vulnerabilities

Updates, or patches as they are commonly called, are released to repair known bugs and vulnerable holes in software and cloud-based systems. The majority of hacking and security breaches come not from brilliant hackers with new cutting-edge techniques, but rather from long known vulnerabilities that haven’t been patched.  Regular patching reduces the risk to your systems from old vulnerabilities and new ones as they become known.

Patch management involves identifying, acquiring, testing, and installing software patches (or code changes) intended to fix bugs, add features or address any security vulnerabilities.

Could a Patch Take Down My Network?

There is a perception for many that patching systems is dangerous. As a result, many businesses forgo patching their systems, assuming doing so could disrupt critical application integrations.

Every IT and software environment is different, so patching applications can have unexpected consequences, which can result in business disruption. However, failing to patch a system’s vulnerabilities creates an open door for hackers to enter and wreak havoc. The negative possibilities from not patching far outweigh any potential outage from patches causing outages.

To avoid unexpected results from patches, organizations should first keep an accurate inventory or their hardware and software assets. Secondly, IT leaders can test patches on backups of their environment. AirCTRL™ is our solution for managing IT assets and AirGapd™ provides organizations with immutable backups.

How Resilient is Your System?

If a system can’t survive a bad update, how would it handle a ransomware attack? Patching your system is worth the risk.

Think of patching as cyber resiliency testing. In the event of a bad patch, is your system backed up? Immutable backups ensure your system won’t be down for hours, days, or weeks, even if you lose access to software or data in your primary network. The same is true in a ransomware attack or breach. If your IT team is not updating and patching your systems, your company is vulnerable, and attackers could take your business down with even greater costs.

Airiam has experts to work with your team to ensure all your systems are up to date, your backups are happening regularly and stored safely, and your company has all the essential security it needs to avoid a serious breach or ransomware attack. Don’t let your critical data and networks become like a pile of scarecrow hay. Reach out to Airiam to learn how to protect your business today.

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