Tidings Know the importance of virtual patching

Posted on 12 March 2018

One of the great challenges in providing software has to do with security updates, fixes and enhancements of systems, known as patches. They can be made available with a view to fixing bugs, security policy updates and even an adaptation of software requirements.

But the development, release and patch deployment is not a simple operation and when not planned properly, has the potential to cause major negative impacts for companies. Therefore, the patch is a major concern for IT managers.

The solution to this challenge linked to the patch management is the use of virtual patching. Your goal is to assist in the process of updating patches released by manufacturers, optimizing the work of IT teams and making the process safer.

The Importance of Virtual Patching

A good example to understand the concept of virtual patching, its importance and impact, is to remember the incidents linked to ransomware attacks that occurred recently.

The cyber attack targeted security holes that had been patched by Microsoft, but that the application of patches had not been carried out, causing major damage and inconvenience to many companies around the world.

Virtual Patching is the development and implementation in a short time, security policies to correct and prevent flaws and security holes are exploited as a result of a vulnerability discovered by hackers.

When effective, the correction patches prevent information security is compromised, preventing cyber attacks by source software code. The goal is to change or eliminate the vulnerability of an affected application for an attack or prevent potential risk.

The impact of a hacker attack to companies

Cyber ​​attacks occur in different forms and layers within a technology architecture, but in recent years we have had great advances in protecting the cyber security and the use of antivirus, firewalls and other network assets has helped us ensure a safe environment.

However, this evolution also occurred by the hackers, who have gone to seek new ways to carry out cyber attacks, using new approaches, tools and techniques that involve the participation of users unintentionally. The security breaches came to be found directly in the source code of various types of applications.

Thus the impact for businesses has been devastating, in addition to information security and compromise the privacy of users, cyber attacks has caused major financial losses and tarnishing the brand forward to investors, customers and suppliers.

Virtual Patching as an important ally in information security guarantee

Many organizations run against time to fix vulnerabilities in their systems that are discovered and increase the risk of digital attacks. During the implementation process of security patch it takes time for planning and a maintenance window to install a critical security patch.

Note that, the time spent during the implementation and application of a definitive correction concerning a security breach, it is enough that cyber attacks from happening and causing enough damage. The use of virtual patching seeks to meet the first corrective action and prevent invasions more quickly and effectively.

In addition, the IT staff is small and with limited time, it is almost impossible to conduct reviews, tests and install updates without leaving the environment vulnerable to a security incident.

The strategy used by the virtual patching offers several advantages over the installation of a patch made in the conventional way.

  • Protegeaos mission-critical components and, therefore, the operations are not interrupted during the installation process.
  • The use of this strategy quickly performs risk mitigation from a holding until an effective and permanent patch can be tested and released by the application vendor.
  • The company maintains its normal patch cycle without interrupting operations in the event of the emergence of new vulnerabilities during the installation process.
  • A virtual patching can be installed on a single strategic point of the organization and the installation process can be shared throughout the company's IT infrastructure.
  • Because the code libraries are not modified, it is unlikely that a virtual patch produces system conflicts.

There is no doubt that the Virtual Patching is an extremely valuable solution with high potential to reduce the risk of cyber attacks.

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