According to research performed by the Ponemon Institute, 60% of cyberattack victims were compromised due to missing software security patches. Software security patching is the process of updating software to fix known vulnerabilities and prevent potential security breaches. It’s an essential practice for maintaining the security and integrity of computer systems and networks.
Why Don’t Dealers Promptly Apply Patches?
Making sure that your dealership is up to date with its patching isn’t just an important part of an effective cyber defense. It’s also becoming increasingly important to comply with government regulations and to remain in good standing with cyber liability insurance providers. Yet, many dealerships fail to promptly apply security patching for a variety of reasons:
- The large quantity of new patches makes it’s difficult for small IT teams to keep up.
- Patching is often a very time-consuming process.
- Many dealerships lack the qualified resources to regularly perform patching.
- End users are resistant to having their technology patched.
- There is potential for creating widespread technical issues or even bringing the entire network down.
- The risk of effecting other application and causing them to malfunction.
Why Are Patches So Important?
One of the main reasons why software security patching is so important is that it helps to protect against known security threats. Hackers and cybercriminals often exploit known vulnerabilities in software to gain unauthorized access to systems and steal sensitive information. By patching these vulnerabilities, organizations can reduce the risk of a successful attack and protect their assets.
Another reason why software security patching is important is that it helps to comply with industry standards and regulations. Many industries, have strict rules and regulations that require organizations to take certain security measures – including promptly applying software updates.
Patching Best Practices
To ensure that software security patching is done correctly, there are several best practices that organizations should follow:
- Establish and document a patch management policy: Define what, why and how patches are applied. It should include identification of new patches, patch prioritization, patch implementation approval, patch testing, deployment, results monitoring and results documentation.
- Have a centralized asset inventory: With a centralized asset inventory you can easily track your dealerships hardware and software assets that need to be patched.
- Prioritize critical updates: Some updates are more important than others, so prioritize those that address critical vulnerabilities or known exploits.
- Test updates before deployment: Test updates to ensure that they don’t cause any issues or conflicts before deploying them in production.
- Automate the process: Use automated tools to help manage the patching process, including scheduling updates and monitoring systems for vulnerabilities.
- Document and review: Document the patching process and review it periodically to ensure that it is effective and that all vulnerabilities are being addressed.
Also, remember that if you have technology deployed that is obsolete and no longer supported by the manufacture then this must be replaced. Since this technology is no longer supported by the manufacturer, new patches for it won’t be created which leaves a giant hole in your cyber defense.
By following these best practices, organizations can ensure that their software is up-to-date and secure, helping to protect against known security threats and comply with industry standards and regulations.