Patching Operating Systems is one of the Australian Cyber Security Centres (ACSC) recommended Essential 8 strategies used to prevent cyber-attacks and limit the extent of damage caused by incidents. Similarly to Patching Applications, regular and proactive patching of business operating systems is vital to ensure any system vulnerabilities are fixed; thus, protecting the business from malicious codes (malware) entering the network.
Patching can be undertaken automatically across all supported Windows operating systems as part of all our Cybersecurity Management System (CSMS) packages. Along with Patching Applications, Patching Operating Systems forms a strong first point of defence against potential threats. In addition to prevention, Patching Operating Systems can also minimise the extent of damage in the case of a security breach.
Patching Operating Systems is a strategy used by IT professionals and businesses to ensure all known or potential system vulnerabilities are fixed (or patched) thereby reducing the likelihood of malware entering the system via glitches. Hackers specifically look for old and outdated operating systems to breach as they are much easier to infiltrate with malware and viruses.
Our patching process involves scanning all Windows operating systems on your business network every 48 hours to ensure all computers are up to date with the latest versions. This action meets the ACSC Essential 8 recommendations. Once the scan is complete, any missing minor patches are automatically deployed across the network. All Windows operating system patches are developed by Microsoft and whilst they are safe to install, knowing when and how to install new patches can be tricky.
For larger updates, these are strategically scheduled to minimise risk and downtime to the business. New large patches may cause grief to businesses who may be utilising other outdated software, or, the patches themselves may be incomplete. Our patch management system works to identify any potential issues to ensure a smooth installation.
The ACSC’s strategy to Patch Operating Systems is one of three mitigation strategies to limit the extent of cybersecurity incidents. Operating systems which are left un-patch for long periods can become highly compromised. In addition, old unsupported operating systems are easy targets for hackers. However, security is not the only reason to update your system. Below we list five reasons to implement a Patch Operating System strategy.
Whilst it is not the only reason, protecting your business systems is one of the key reasons for undertaking proactive patch management. This is particularly important for businesses on medium to large networks as often all computers on a network utilise the same operating system version. Therefore, one vulnerable operating system means many vulnerable systems. Updating operating systems network-wide will minimise the threat of malware and viruses accessing any computer.
Old operating systems was the cause of the 2017 ‘WannaCry’ ransomware attack which infected 230,000 computers in one single day and subsequently proceeded to cause an estimated $4 Billion of financial losses for businesses and households.(1) A sad fact is, the patch for the vulnerability that was leveraged by the hacker, was available from Microsoft 2 months prior to the WannaCry attack. Meaning, much of the damage to businesses could have been avoided by regular patch management.
New patches and updates are designed to improve the overall running of your operating system. Therefore, systems run faster, smoother and with less ‘errors’ (aka the “blue screen of death”) when updates are undertaken regularly. This can support businesses to increase productivity and reduce downtime.
Windows patches ensures that your system is compatible with other new software programs and applications. Whilst this is particularly important for companies which utilise other Microsoft tools such as Microsoft Office, all software and hardware companies design their programs to be used with the latest operating system versions.
Accessing old operating systems is one technique used by hackers to steal customer data. This information can be used to exploit the company, or your clients themselves. Regular patch management of operating systems ensures that your systems are always up to date. This means better protection of your customers records and data.
The ACSC recommends always using the latest version of operating systems and undertaking a patch review and installation at least every 48 hours. This is not only time consuming to manage manually, but patch updates often require computers to be shut down and restarted which can cause hassle and frustration for employees.
Our patch management system undertakes automated reviews of Windows operating systems to ensure the latest patches and updates have been installed. For patches not installed, we undertake vigorous testing to ensure the patch is compatible with your version of Windows and that installation will not cause subsequent issues. As our patch management system is centralised, we can implement companywide updates at specifically appropriate times to minimise downtime for employees.
Our system validates new patches to ensure they are trusted as well as tests patches to check for incompatibilities or issues. Further, we can provide reports of all updates on a regular basis.
Our patch management system undertakes updates for both operating systems and applications and is available as part of all our CSMS packages.
Get in touch with our friendly team, we can provide you with all of the information you need to make the best decision for your business.Contact Us