Once you have identified the need for a patch, deploying them can be very difficult – the first question is; do you have the manpower? If so, when do you deploy? If you are going to automate this process – and the industry is going this way – can you cope with cross platform patch management form a single tool? Can you delegate responsibility to other people within the team, or to other office locations?
The need for tools to deal with this issue has been highlighted. There are a number of vendors now appearing in this space. Before purchasing any tool it is important for the user to test it. Test it in a real environment, test across all the systems that you run. Think a little further than just patching Microsoft software – there will be worms for other systems and hackers exploit known holes in other O/S and applications. Make sure you receive full audit trails and reports.
The one thing that is for sure, is that the correct tool will provide businesses with a good Return On Investment. The cost of a patching all your system is high. The chances are you will need to consider, and probably patch systems every week. The cost of not patching them may well be even higher.
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