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Application Security

5/4/2020
09:00 AM
Kelly Sheridan
Kelly Sheridan
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7 Tips for Security Pros Patching in a Pandemic

The shift to remote work has worsened patch management challenges and created new ones. Security pros share insights and best practices.
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Patch Smarter, Not Less
Dustin Childs, manager at Trend Micro's Zero-Day Initiative, says he sees many people who are reluctant to roll out patches because they're afraid something will break, they lack resources, or their responsibilities have been reassigned due to the pandemic. Many people who were working on patch management are now ensuring remote collaboration software is working, for example, or that people can access corporate resources.
'At the same time, we see people with a lot of time on their hands,' he notes. Submissions for the Zero-Day Initiative are increasing and organizations like Microsoft are reporting more flaws. Between January and April 2020, Microsoft saw a 44% jump in the number of CVEs patched compared with the same period in 2019. 
'Clearly, there's a lot going on, there's a lot of patches being put out,' Childs says. The answer is not to abstain from patching but to approach the process in a way that best suits your business. IT and security pros should be testing patches and ensuring they can roll back to a pre-patched state if a fix doesn't work. Now, they should be able to do all of this remotely.
'If you're not patching your endpoints, you're leaving a door unlocked; you're leaving a window open,' Automox's Melick says. 
(Image: Olivier Le Moal -- stock.adobe.com)

Patch Smarter, Not Less

Dustin Childs, manager at Trend Micro's Zero-Day Initiative, says he sees many people who are reluctant to roll out patches because they're afraid something will break, they lack resources, or their responsibilities have been reassigned due to the pandemic. Many people who were working on patch management are now ensuring remote collaboration software is working, for example, or that people can access corporate resources.

"At the same time, we see people with a lot of time on their hands," he notes. Submissions for the Zero-Day Initiative are increasing and organizations like Microsoft are reporting more flaws. Between January and April 2020, Microsoft saw a 44% jump in the number of CVEs patched compared with the same period in 2019.

"Clearly, there's a lot going on, there's a lot of patches being put out," Childs says. The answer is not to abstain from patching but to approach the process in a way that best suits your business. IT and security pros should be testing patches and ensuring they can roll back to a pre-patched state if a fix doesn't work. Now, they should be able to do all of this remotely.

"If you're not patching your endpoints, you're leaving a door unlocked; you're leaving a window open," Automox's Melick says.

(Image: Olivier Le Moal -- stock.adobe.com)

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