Dmitry Nikolaev -

Why software patch management matters

When building a business case for software patch management, focus on its ability to protect against malware, ransomware, phishing and other security threats, thereby reducing the risk of downtime

Reliable security services through improved remote endpoint software patch management helps managed service provider (MSP) partners address one of the most significant security vulnerabilities – human error.

The weakest links in IT security are a company’s users and everyday acts such as opening emails, clicking on phishing links and downloading and installing software and plugins. These attacks typically target security vulnerabilities in out-of-date, third-party software and, once exploited, allow the hacker access to the user’s device and, very often, the company’s network.

Reduce risk

A common approach that hackers use to introduce their malware into a secure environment is by a phishing email. As soon as the user clicks on the link, an executable is run on the user’s device, causing malware to be installed.

Another common device vulnerability that hackers exploit is through packages such as Flash, Java or Adobe readers. Because these packages require frequent security updates, hackers are able to exploit the vulnerabilities exposed in out-of-date versions and inject malware via a downloaded PDF, for example. When the user opens the PDF, the malware automatically installs on the user’s device.

The ability to identify and update out-of-date packages such as Adobe Reader, Flash and Java, which are prime targets for hackers, is essential.

Minimise downtime

The time lapse between a new version being released and the installed application being updated is significant concern for businesses.

For example, let’s say a Java patch is released due to a recently discovered security threat. As soon as that release is available, hackers become aware of a vulnerability in the previous application release and can begin targeting it.

It’s critical that MSPs provide updates as soon as a new release of an app is available.

Datto RMM automates the entire process. It automates the discovery of the vulnerability, the alert to be sent to the MSP and the resolution. And all of this is accomplished in just minutes.  

Datto constantly monitors for the release of new application versions and makes them available in Datto RMM, which then installs these in line with the policies established by our MSPs. This eliminates the typical delay of days, sometimes even weeks, often experienced by companies. We’re enabling MSPs to proactively prevent issues, respond faster, and deliver a higher quality of service to their customers.

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