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Safeguard Program Updates

Managing program updates and patches is an Australian Cyber Security Centre recommended strategy for minimising cyber attacks.

Safeguarding Program Updates, which is also referred to as managing patch applications, is a cyber-attack prevention strategy and part of the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) Essential 8 recommendations. Update and patch management involves regular software updates to ensure that any known application vulnerabilities are resolved.

Updating programs vastly minimises the risk of cyber attacks, as programs are regularly fixed (patched) to ensure malicious code (malware) cannot access a computer system via a faulty or old software programs. Patch Application management is included in our Cyber Security Management System (CSMS).

What is Safeguarding Program Updates?

Safeguarding Program Updates, or patching applications, is the process of installing a code (or patch) into mainstream business applications to fix a vulnerability. Vulnerabilities are design flaws, glitches in a system, or failed updates that create a weakness in the software that can be exploited by hackers. This means it becomes easier for hackers to gain access to a computer or network via software and install malware.

Patches for vulnerabilities are usually created by the respective software company. The process involves undertaking scans of all programs and applications on the computer network, determining if everything is up to date with the latest versions and patches, and (if they are not up to date) installing new patches for the software as required. The ACSC advises that for maximum protection this should be done every 48 hours.

Successful patch and update management also involves deciding which patches are priorities for systems and scheduling efficient installation. With a patch management system, this process can be seamless for organisations; saving not only time and energy on manually undertaking patch updates, but further minimising risks of cyber attacks.

Our CSMS implements updating of programs and operating systems to reduce software vulnerabilities and thus increase the level of cyber security.

Benefits of Safeguard Program Updates

Safeguard Program Updates, or patching applications, is an (ACSC) Essential 8 mitigation strategy to prevent malware delivery and execution. Many businesses undertake patch management on an ad-hoc basis for key programs such as MS Office. However, there are many benefits of undertaking proactive and structured patch management.

Five reasons to Safeguard Program Updates

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Safeguarding Program Updates is one of the first lines of defence against cyber attacks. Old program and application versions can have vulnerabilities; which make it easier for hackers to gain access to computer systems and exploit companies. Proactive patching minimises the risk of hackers entering a system via software.

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With a patch management system, updates can be undertaken via a centralised location, making it an easy and effective method to protect a wide range of computers which may be connected to a network. As viruses can also travel along a network, proactive network-wide patching can resolve issues immediately and before they arise.

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Automated and proactive patching can increase both the IT department and overall company efficiency. Scheduled updates across networks can be undertaken at strategically convenient times for companies, reducing downtime and frustration.

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Whilst security is the major reason for installing updates and patches, often they are much more valuable. Updates can include new program additions, improved features and functionalities as well as extended integrations. This means employees are always utilising the latest software versions.

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Patches are primarily created by the associated software company and offered free to anyone who has that software. However, many businesses don’t take advantage of the upgrade. Why not install free upgrades on all your programs on a regular basis?

Implementing a Strategy to Safeguard Program Updates

Updating Programs can be undertaken manually on an ad-hoc basis, or strategically and proactively via a patch management system. Whilst ad-hoc management is usually enough to support personal use computers, businesses should ensure they have a structured automated system in place.

Via our update and patch management system, businesses can implement updates effectively and immediately. Our team not only supports system installation but also establishes automation requirements to suit your needs. Therefore, there is minimal management required from your business. We also adheres to the (ACSC) Essential 8 recommendation of reviewing requirements every 48hours.

Our system validates new updates and patches to ensure they are trusted as well as tests patches to check for incompatibilities or issues. Further, we provide reports of all updates on a regular basis.

Our CSMS includes management of both Safeguarding Program Updates and Windows Updates.

Please note: patching/updating of your business applications (beyond mainstream apps) should be a responsibility of your software provider and within your support agreement with that provider.

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