Best Practices for Endpoint Security and Patching


Enterprises need to stay on top of patches, but manually applying patches to endpoints can be challenging due to factors such as time, staffing, and IT budgets. Srinivasa shares his top nine practices to help admins with difficult situations and help them stay vigilant against cyberattacks.

Each day, hackers are finding new ways to sneak past your security defenses and wreak havoc on your network computers. Hackers often use known vulnerabilities as their primary attack vector, leveraging unpatched software, and operating systems to gain access.

Many OS and software vendors are constantly providing timely patches and hotfixes as a way to keep their users’ data intact. Enterprises need to stay on top of these patches, but manually applying patches to endpoints can be challenging due to factors such as time, staffing, and IT budgets.

Here’s a list of some best practices that can bail admins out of difficult situations and help them stay vigilant against cyberattacks:

Automate the Patch Management Process

Critical vulnerabilities can open up opportunities for malware attacks. Data-critical businesses like financial institutions and healthcare systems need to have computers that are up to date.

If an outsider gains access to even one vulnerable system, the potential data loss could be devastating. With automated patching software in place, you can stay secure without much manual intervention.

Stay on Top of Third-Party Patches

Enterprise IT management often prioritizes patching of Apple and Microsoft applications over third-party applications, but doing so can create a security blind spot in your organization.

Your patch management software must be capable of patching an exhaustive list of third-party applications; that way, you’re not missing any security updates for the essential apps used in your enterprise.

Adopt a Cloud-Based Architecture

In a cloud infrastructure, deployments are quick as well as lightweight. With a cloud environment, you can utilize on-demand computation and enhanced storage capacity. Many organizations are migrating from on-premises solutions to the cloud to tackle their workloads, but doing so comes with challenges.

It’s important to remember that when a third party is hired to take care of your storage and computation requirements, you need to make sure those resources are secure.

Use Multi-factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication requires a user to use two or more parameters to log in. By combining a username and password with an additional layer of authentication, such as a one-time password, Smart Card Logon (for Windows), email authentication, or biometrics like fingerprints, voice recognition, and pupil detection — you can rest assured that your data is remaining secure.

Have an Incident Response Team in Place

An incident response team must have the following personnel: an incident/emergency response team manager, cybersecurity experts, and threat researchers. An incident response team must be equipped to take remedial measures after a security breach occurs or when a vulnerability is detected.

Create Configuration Access Policies

Each technician’s duties will vary, meaning each technician should have access rights that are tailored for their role. When it comes to using a point product for patching, make sure only the technicians in charge of patching are assigned full read/write/audit access. Products that have broader functionality often offer fine-tuned access policies for their various functions.

Increase Employee Awareness

Security-related standards should be established for current employees, and new employee training should include several security and privacy-related practice sessions.

Increased awareness will go a long way in preventing unintentional data compromise and may even discourage a rogue employee from intentionally disclosing information.

Go Mobile for Managing Endpoints

A user-friendly mobile interface for managing endpoints while on the go is becoming increasingly important. Attacks can happen at any time, so you don’t want to be caught off guard while you’re away from your desk.

Bringing It All Together

Enterprise endpoint security should blend a user-friendly endpoint management solution — one that has state-of-the-art technology and foolproof security policies — with a security-focused mindset among employees.

Adopting such technologies in your organization, along with the best security practices, can do a lot to ensure your network stays safe and sound from a variety of threats.