The most secure companies have a patch management policy in place that requires all users that connect to their network to have the latest security patches installed on their computers. Enforcement of such a patch management policy can present challenges, but there are technologies that exist which can facilitate better control over the level of patches present on the computers connecting to your network. There are networking systems that can actually deny a computer access to network connectivity unless it has a level of patches installed that you dictate as a threshold for access to your systems. These services can even force the most recent patches down onto computers that require them, and once they are in place, grant them access to the network. |
Less severe of a patch management policy is one that simply uses an update server to force policies down onto the computers that connect to your directory. These computers receive patches that you distribute via an approval process. By forcing client systems to conform to the patch management policy, an IT administrator ensures a key component in the overall security structure of the network is being maintained. A patch management policy protects not only the data on the end user machine, but the data of the company in general. Some of that data could be invaluable to business, proprietary or secret information that would devastate the business were it to fall into the wrong hands.
A patch management policy is a vital component of the overall security plan for a conscientious IT department, and is as important and a solid firewall, a well thought out firewall configuration and the use of a standard virus protection application across all systems connected to your network. Compliance with a patch management policy takes away one more path for hackers to gain access to your sensitive corporate data.
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