2022 Patching & Endpoint Management Checklist - Top 8
What does it take to keep your endpoints configured and secured? Sometimes, this question can seem elusive and you may not always know where to start. To help you get a hold of your security environment and to protect your endpoints in the best way, we’ve created the 2022 Patching & Endpoint Management Checklist!
When it comes to patch management, we’ve got all the top tips, tricks, and trends every organization should consider when taking stock of their IT and security practices. But first, let’s cover the basics.
What is an endpoint?
An endpoint is an end-user device, such as a laptop, server, tablet, and desktop – but it also can serve as a point of entry for cyberattackers. In fact, endpoints are some of the most sought-after targets for malicious actors.
With the use of AI, bots, and machine learning on the rise, cyberattacks are becoming more intricate and challenging to prevent. Firewalls and antivirus software just won't cut it anymore. Additionally, several IT and security professionals report that endpoint patching takes a backseat to other tasks. In fact, VentureBeat recently reported that 71% of IT and security leads said endpoint management is too complex, cumbersome, and takes up way too much time. But endpoint patching is vital to healthy cyber resilience. Just take a peek at this finding from Dark Reading's recent State of Endpoint Security Survey: "84% of security pros believe any attack will start with the endpoint."
For this reason alone, endpoint security should be a major focal point for organizations of every size and industry, and endpoint management – the process of minimizing endpoint attack surfaces and reducing the impact of compromised endpoints – is a critical element of overall cybersecurity.
Here’s our run-down on the top things you need to know for patching and endpoint management in 2022:
1. Malware and other threats are becoming more sophisticated
Whether it be ransomware, fileless malware, or cryptocurrency mining (cryptojacking), these programs can be highly damaging – and quite costly. In many cases, these programs are built to exploit known vulnerabilities that have available patches and can skirt around traditional antivirus options.
Endpoints are often easy targets for these kinds of attacks. Limitations in endpoint visibility and low patching rates mean that multiple devices on your network could be vulnerable – and you'd never even know it.
2. Remote work, forever
The modern workforce is fully-distributed. Whether your employees are working remotely full-time or just a few days a month, ensuring those remote endpoints are secure is essential. Remote endpoints can tend to “fly under the radar” for any number of reasons, but they can still be a major security risk. An unpatched endpoint is vulnerable to attack, no matter where it is located.
3. Consider segmentation and configuration
Network segmentation allows organizations to separate critical and non-critical systems within their network. This can reduce the impact a compromised endpoint may have on your network. Overall, a properly configured network is a crucial element of endpoint management.
4. Keep an endpoint inventory
Maintaining an inventory of all endpoints, third-party apps, and off-site assets on your organization's network is a critical step for endpoint management. Keeping track of everything that needs to be protected is crucial to ensuring that those devices, apps, and assets are secure. A strong patch management platform can also provide your organization with hardware, software, patches, and configuration details for all endpoints.
5. Endpoint visibility is non-negotiable
In today's digital landscape, it's common for organizations to have a vast array of endpoints on their network. Being able to see all the endpoints on your network (regardless of where they are) and take inventory of all your organization's devices is a critical element of good cybersecurity practices. Seeing what's happening on your endpoints in real-time offers organizations the ability to begin taking action against potential threats and remediate vulnerabilities as soon as they're detected.
Take the time to regularly check in on the devices on your network. Conducting regular assessments of endpoints can help your organization detect and resolve vulnerabilities before they get exploited.
6. Timely patching is critical
Delays in patching can put your organization at risk. Legacy patching solutions can slow you down, but there are more modern, automated patch management solutions out there that can patch all your endpoints from the same platform. When a patch is released for a zero-day vulnerability, the faster you can patch for it, the better. Because patching is a critical element of endpoint management, automated patch deployment allows you to ensure that every endpoint is receiving critical security updates on a regular basis. Patching is critical to minimizing an organization's attack surface.
7. Patch your third-party applications
Many organizations today utilize multiple third-party applications, but few are patching them regularly. However, third-party applications can be a real threat to endpoint security if left vulnerable. Modern patching solutions like Automox allow users to patch all your third-party apps from a single console.
8. Cross-platform patching is crucial
In addition to multiple third-party apps, it's common for businesses to have several OS on their networks. Legacy patching options often have limitations in their ability to patch alternative OS – which means some devices may get overlooked.
Newer patch management solutions are better suited for cross-platform patch management and can cover all your endpoints with ease, no matter what OS they're running.
As we finally hit our stride in 2022, don't forget to include automated vulnerability remediation, patch management, and configuration management in your cybersecurity strategy.
Automox for Easy IT Operations
Automox is the cloud-native IT operations platform for modern organizations. It makes it easy to keep every endpoint automatically configured, patched, and secured – anywhere in the world. With the push of a button, IT admins can fix critical vulnerabilities faster, slash cost and complexity, and win back hours in their day.