T2022_22 Patch Management Best Practices (11th November 2022) 

What are patches and patch management. 

Patches are used to address security flaws and bugs in software and patch management is the process of distributing and installing those updates. It's critical to stay up to date on the latest news about any software and to keep track of available patches and apply them on a regular basis to ensure that it is functioning properly. This will enable you to reduce the negative effects of security vulnerabilities. 

Best practices for patch management 

  • Create policies for patch management 
    Developing patch management policies aids in the establishment of routines, procedures, and timeframes for an efficient patching process. 

  • Create a baseline inventory 
    A thorough inventory of all software and hardware in your organization is critical to the patch management process. Only when you know what you need to protect will you be able to determine which patches are critical to your systems. 

  • Sort and group each asset according to its risk and priority.  
    Categorize assets to ensure an efficient deployment process. Then, assign risk levels to each category to determine which patches should be deployed first. This procedure aids in determining which systems require immediate patch deployment and which can be delayed. 

  •  First, test patches 
    A faulty patch can cause malfunction within your system or expose new security vulnerabilities. Patch testing prior to implementation ensures that patches are operationally sound before deployment. 

  • System pre- and post-patching documentation 
    It is critical to document the state of your systems before and after applying a patch. If problems arise later, it will be easier to determine whether they can be attributed to an applied patch. 

The Guyana National CIRT recommends that users and administrators review these recommendations and implement them where necessary.     

PDF Download: Patch Management Best Practices.pdf

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