Formal patch management programs critical to technology security and performance

By - April 4, 2017

Annoying pop-ups, system crashes, latency issues and viruses are just a few of the common problems end users can encounter when working with computer technology. Thorough patch management actions are necessary to mitigate the impact and destructiveness that can result from problems such as these. The value of a formal patch management program can be realized through security gap repairs, enhanced system performance, quick access to new features and support preservation.

Security Gap Repairs

One of the most important reasons for quick, regular implementation of software patches is security gap repairs. Exploits, or backdoors, are vulnerabilities within code that are abused for malicious intent. These exploits can have a quick negative impact on end users, but a patch can just as quickly be pushed to put an end to these malicious activities. According to Microsoft, the leading provider of corporate software, their most recent operating system is running on 400 million devices in 192 countries. In the business world, the majority of these devices will be running multiple Microsoft programs, such as Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc. Beyond that, most business devices also have solutions for backups, anti-virus, and networking services installed, to name a few. Each piece of software installed on a device increases the potential risk of that device being impacted by an exploit. However, the implementation of a formal security patch management program significantly decreases these risks. Many businesses take advantage of managed IT services to offload patch management programs, enabling their IT team to focus on more strategic initiatives, while ensuring all programs are updated regularly. Oftentimes, a managed IT services provider will have advance knowledge of potential risks and are able to lessen the impact on a customer’s work environment.

Performance enhancements

We have all had experience with a new electronic device in which all the bugs have yet to be worked out. Unfortunately, work environments are not immune to this. Technology experts know all too well that while the existence of these bugs is troublesome, it is the fact that they can’t be fixed without altering or adding onto the source code that is the true source of frustration. And due to the proprietary nature of computer software, service agents do not have the ability or the know how to fix the source code. Again, this is where the right managed IT services provider can add value. By maintaining strong partnerships with software providers, a managed services provider can interact directly with the vendor to enable quicker patch management, thereby reducing the time during which bugs can negatively impact end users.

Access to New Features

Oftentimes, when a software vendor releases a new version in order to address bug fixes, they also include new features for the benefit of the end user and, sometimes, for the benefit of the administrator. These new features can prove to be important tools for improving a business’s workflow or for enabling administrators to provide better end user support. Without a regular patch management process, these new features may not be implemented as quickly and frequently as possible. This is one reason why patch management should not be viewed as just a problem fixer, but also as a proactive service to improve any business’s effectiveness.

Support Preservation

The value of preserving support is often overlooked when it comes to patch management. Preserving support doesn’t mean that assistance will not be provided if you don’t have patch management services, but rather that support can be limited. Sometimes, there is only so much that can be done with deprecated software versions. These limitations are not only frustrating for the end user, but for administrators, as well. However, a formal patch management program means this type of frustration can be avoided and the most up-to-date services can be provided to the end user.

If you are interested in learning more about RSM’s managed IT services, including patch management, visit our website. The RSM PROTECT Methodology is designed to ensure that your company’s technology infrastructure delivers the kind of response and support you expect from your applications.

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