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Importance of Patch Management following WannaCry and Petya attacks

 

Many organisations were affected by the recent WannaCry and Petya targeted malware attacks, which caused major disruption to businesses across the globe. Similar types of attacks are becoming more frequent and are constantly making headline news.

In many cases attacks could have been avoided by protecting systems from emerging malicious threats by applying the latest software updates and keeping current with patching your operating systems.

It’s not only emerging threats or zero day exploits that are worrying. As detailed by the latest Verizon 2017 Data Breach Investigation Report (DIBR), this shows that the most frequently exploited vulnerabilities are often months or even years old. They are exploited so easily because organisations do not patch their systems and most systems are not updated with anything near the appropriate frequency.

Following these recent events there is a renewed shift in focus and attitude on the importance of keeping on top of patching and software update management to keep your operating systems up-to-date and secure.

Patch management is one of the cornerstones of a solid security strategy. However, the unfortunate reality is that organisations are investing in advanced IT security solutions but still neglect basic IT security like patch management.

However, you don’t want to apply patches haphazardly; You want to follow a well-defined strategy that applies updates on a regular cadence. A comprehensive security strategy includes centralised patch management software and support for a system that applies the necessary tests before applying patches.

The key point here is that you must have a strategy in place and ensure that it is followed.

On Friday August 4th at 2.30pm I will be reviewing the recent changes in Windows updates that make it easier and provide tips on staying current in this constantly fast moving IT world.  Take a look at our upcoming events to register.

Vishal Ladwa

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