It’s no secret that modern software is complex and difficult to make, which means mistakes are unfortunately inevitable. Remedying these errors requires going back afterward to apply a fix—referred to as a patch. With the deluge of assets flooding corporate networks, organizations need to have a solid patch management strategy in place to ensure they are keeping up with updates and that their intricate quilt doesn’t unravel at the seams.
In a recent episode of Whiteboard Wednesday, we dove into the basics of patch management and explained why it is so important to your overall vulnerability management program. Watch the full video here, or read on below for a recap of what was discussed:
The history of patch management
Before we dive into the modern world of patches, let’s take a step back to see where this concept came from. Once upon a time, computers were programmed using punch cards. Yes, that’s right, people would actually punch holes into paper and feed it into a machine that would read the holes as instructions. When mistakes were made in those instructions, programmers would take back the original punch card, tape up the hole, punch a hole somewhere else, then feed it back in. Voila, fixed!
Today, the process is far more complex, though the same concept generally applies. Take a moment to think about the Windows Update box. This notification means that for some reason, the software Microsoft has provided needs to be retroactively updated due to some kind of error in the code. Being sure to install updates (right away!) ensures the mistake is rectified.