These days, running outdated software doesn’t just mean you’re missing out on the latest features. It means you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to cyber attacks. And these attacks are probably more extensive than you realise, with research from CISCO indicating that more than 30 percent of organisations have experienced cyber attacks on their systems.
Unfortunately, threat actors understand that old, unpatched apps are often your company’s greatest security weakness. If you regularly operate outdated software and don’t actively take steps to keep your software patched, you’re essentially giving hackers an open invitation to steal your valuable company data.
In this article, we’ll explore why patch management software has become such an essential tool in your cybersecurity strategy and look at three of the best open source patch management platforms you can utilise today.
It’s easy enough to say that all software should be continually kept up to date, but in the real world we know it isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. Robust network security requires constant efforts as software vendors drip feed out a stream of updates of various types including service packs, hotfixes, and roll-ups.
If you only have a small number of staff running select software, the process is fairly simple. But as soon as you have dozens or hundreds of staff working across a large number of devices, the patching process can take weeks just to track and update a single piece of software. Once you factor in the time needed to update the whole suite of apps your staff uses and try to keep track of what’s up to date and what isn’t - then headaches are guaranteed. It is no wonder that more than 80 percent of organisations have at least one unpatched application.
This is where management software comes in. It provides a systematic way to stay on top of the update status of every piece of software used organisation-wide. Thankfully there’s also a great range of free open source platforms available, meaning there’s no need to have to invest in expensive fully fledged options.
Manage Engine Patch Manager Plus is one of the most powerful free patch management solutions. It features an automated system that is capable of scanning, validating and deploying all kinds of patches needed to maintain a secure IT system.
Pulseway is a hybrid patch management and DNS protection solution. It’s patch management capabilities cover both Windows and third-party patches and include support for advanced scheduling, versioning, and collaborative environments.
Don’t be fooled by the name because Chocolatey is actually a very serious and very powerful patch management platform. It is capable of supporting more than 7,000 different packages.
Given there are various high quality and free platforms available, there are few reasons not to employ a patch management software platform if you operate any organisation larger than a small business. They reduce the pressure on your system admins having to constantly chase outdated apps. And they improve the security of your entire IT system by cutting off critical vulnerabilities across your whole suite of deployed apps. If you’re not using one yet, now is the time to move. If you’d like to find out more about how they can help your business today, reach out to FinXL.