One of the biggest problems for IT professionals today is keeping their clients safe from potential malware threats. We live in an increasingly volatile world, where hackers are always plotting their next move and IT is at the front line of defense, constantly monitoring and protecting workstations.
Patches are crucial for Safety
Patch management is a crucial area in IT security which primarily involves protecting your clients from malware, phishing attacks and potential hacking. This is achieved by installing multiple patches (code changes), in this case, via your Atera agent, on all workstations – both Servers and Desktops. Patch management typically includes: searching for and maintaining current knowledge of available patches, deciding what patches are appropriate for particular systems, installing the patches and ensuring that patches are installed properly and testing systems after installation.
Protect your Clients no matter what!
As a leading RMM tool, Atera is well aware of the importance of providing our MSP customers with the ability to better protect their clients from software vulnerabilities. We do this by
allowing for both manual and automated application and delivery of operating systems and application updates. Recent cases of well-publicized outbreaks of malware that were specifically designed to attack vulnerabilities in popular software prove that keeping patches up to date is a mandatory component of the IT software management lifecycle. In fact, nowadays Patch Management is such a routine part of IT life that Patch Tuesday is an unofficial term used to refer to when Microsoft regularly releases security patches for its software products.
Biggest Cyberattack of 2017
The importance of Patch Management can be shown in a case study detailing the biggest cyberattack in 2017 known as the “WannaCry worm”. This ransomware specifically targeted businesses running outdated Windows machines. It leveraged an exploit — a tool designed to take advantage of a security hole — leaked in a batch of hacking tools believed to belong to the NSA. Reports claimed that it infected around 300,000 machines in 150 countries. Microsoft released a patch to fix the exploit in March but by then the damage had been done. The reason this virus spread so pervasively was that many major firms like healthcare and telecom organizations were running “legacy software,” or old, outdated technology that no longer receives software updates. The WannaCry worm infections were so bad that Microsoft, in a surprising move, released a patch to update old, unsupported Windows systems. Security experts have long warned about attacks on large numbers of unpatched systems, and that is why, here in Atera, we have put solid manpower into both detecting and installing up-to-date patches as they are released., Atera strongly recommends updating software at your clients’ sites to currently supported software to lower the threat level.
Use your Atera Agents to keep your clients Safe
Research has shown that the most efficient way to be protected against attacks is to ensure that every machine in the environment has the latest patches installed. If one computer in the environment is not patched, it can threaten the stability of the entire environment and possibly inhibit normal functionality. To this end, Atera’s remote agent is deployed on all your client’s workstations and is constantly and consistently monitoring each workstation to detect missing patches and potential software vulnerabilities and allows you to install missing patches in one click.
Getting to Grips with Patch Management
In this next section, we are going to discuss a couple of main principles you should think about re Patch Management. The main consideration is prioritizing of patches. Obviously, critical security fixes should be applied as soon as possible, but beyond that, there are other factors to take into consideration. IT managers should consider how often a piece of software is used, as well as how business-critical it is before deciding how urgently to apply a patch. Another important point to consider for effective patch management is choosing the best time to schedule them in. Making sure that updates are only installed out of working hours will minimize the disruption to business workflows, ensuring that employees aren’t thrown off their workstations while important applications are updating. Finally, Patch Management can be used to make intelligent purchase decisions. So for example, if a particular vendor is issuing frequent patches, it may indicate that its products pose a security risk and that you might want to look at alternative options.
Atera and Patch Management
To speed up performance and provide ease of use, Atera offers a complete and intuitive platform for automating Patch Management in a simple and quick to implement methodology. Patch Management can be applied on individual devices and groups, including:
· Run Windows Update: All / Critical / Important / Security.
· Run Windows Update: Service Pack
· Install Microsoft Office Updates
· Install Driver Updates (Hardware)
· Install Java updates
· Install Adobe updates
· Reboot If Needed
For more information and details on the complete suite of Patch Management tools that Atera has to offer, please search for the Patch Management Software blog in this same space or read support articles to learn more on how to use the Patch Panagement features in the Atera app.