Patch Management is a strategic process of acquiring, testing, and installing updated software. But, most of the companies find themselves comply less than strictly with their patching schedule. Customers can reduce risk while lengthening their patching cycles, helping their overtaxed IT departments, and reducing patching costs by simply applying this patch management strategy.

Business-critical applications and information can be more secured with virtual patching.  A virtual patch can quickly get rid of the window of opportunity and reduce the business risk by closing the chance of exploitation. Different technical approaches can be used to shield vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.

Some reasons are listed below:

  • Quantity

The sheer number of patches released across an organization’s typical software stack is overwhelming. For example, consider the number of released security patches in 2015 for just a sample of installed applications:

    • Windows 7: 120
    • Adobe flash: 13
    • Internet Explorer: 13

If we look at 2015 as a representative year, and a set of patches for a subset of the standard software stack on endpoint golden images, we see that in a year, an organization would need to patch 146 times, an average of a patch every 2.5 days. This is simply unfeasible.

  • Cost

Time is money, and patching takes time. You also have the costs of system downtime and productivity loss, which can turn into more than just install and reboot time. Microsoft Azure and Office 365 users worldwide were locked out of their accounts after an update that affected the multi-factor authentication service. And who can forget the patching mess as vendors rushed out unstable fixes after the Meltdown/Spectre bombshell.

  • Organizational LAN

Patch the systems that are only within the VPN  limit. And also not busily working at the time of the patching process. 

  • Scale

Manual patching is not scalable whereas automatic patching needs to be reviewed each patch thoroughly and evaluates its impact on the business side, before the deployment phase.

 

Network-Level Virtual Patching·        

Many of the vendors believe that virtual patching can be implemented only by network solutions that can inspect the packet and match the known vulnerabilities database. This is a reasonable approach if attacks exploiting vulnerabilities had a single. Additionally, this approach results in slowing the network. This is due to the performance hit associated with analyzing network packets and comparing them to a large number of signatures. 

Vendors can use a combination of identification and vulnerability scanning together. This will work only for the known vulnerabilities because it keeps a gap in protection from the time a zero-day is identified until the solution is updated to include it. 

Read More:

Virtual Patching
Advantages of Virtual Patching
Importance of Virtual Patching