Patching software is one of the surest ways to enhance an organization’s security. However, if you’re an enterprise-sized company, patching hundreds or thousands of systems in a reasonable time can be a problem.
On the other hand, the longer it takes the greater danger your organization is in.
The solution, says Gartner analyst Anton Chuvakin, director of the company’s security and risk management group, is to have a strategy for the order in which you patch and dealing with unpatchable vulnerabilities.
There has to be a relationship between vulnerability assessments and remediation, he argues. “Scanning quarterly and patching monthly is truly and unquestionably dumb,” he writes — and not demanded by the PCI Data Security Standard.
He also says that there has to be a strategy for dealing with unpatchable vulnerabilities — for example, disable services, harden configurations, remove network access.
You’ll find this column worth considering in most IT shops.