Patching – in the words of Starship Troopers ‘are you doing your part?’

If you’re of a certain age or just into alien satire then Starship Troopers is for you! Released 20 years ago to poor critical acclaim and a poor box office, Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers has gone on to achieve beloved cult status. That’s great, but what’s this got to do with patching you may ask. Well this sci-fi action satire follows main character Rico in mankind’s war with an alien species called “arachnids” or “bugs” after an attack destroys the whole of Buenos Aires, killing millions. They fight, they lose, they win, but by the end of the film the war is no closer to a resolution than it was at the start.

This is much the same as technologies fight against computer viruses. The computer virus attacks your software, an antivirus or patch is created to stop it and another ‘bug’ shows up just as fast, just like the bugs in Starship Troopers.

The catchphrase from the Starship Troopers series is ‘are you doing your part’ and we at MarXtar want to share with you how we are doing our part, by providing our managed service for patching and how you can do yours, by letting us help.

Doing your part

Patching keeps systems and applications running smoothly, and is also one of the core activities involved in keeping today’s organisations secure. Even though its an important activity, it is the one thing that can be forgotten about or put to the bottom of the work pile. According to Ponemon Institute 57% of data breaches are due to poor patch management. These vulnerabilities could leave you exposed to the Hopper bug – Starship Troopers smallest alien all the way up to the Giant Plasma bug – the biggest destroyer, but they all definitely have a nasty sting in the tail.

You can ‘do your part’ but patch management is an ongoing, time consuming and sometimes complicated process. It can disrupt end users and is difficult to keep up with when there is so many CVE’s being published. It is essential to have someone in your team who understands the importance of patch management, but it is sometimes easier to let a company like MarXtar do the heavy lifting. 

What does MarXtar’s managed patch management process look like?

 1. Discovery

We first ensure we have a comprehensive network inventory and categorise it accordingly. At the most basic level, this includes understanding the types of devices, operating systems, OS versions, and third party applications.

2. Policy

 We help you put together a patch management policy, from critical to non critical updates, looking at your maintenance windows and least critical working times to do the patches and even the hierarchy of your software.

 3. Monitoring

 We take the pressure off by monitoring and adhering to patch release schedules and reacting in a timely fashion to vunerability disclosures.  We actively monitor the patch releases and known issues. Also deploying patches in a phased method, to not impact all devices and test in a customers environment on specified pilot devices, which helps to ensure that deployment  doesn’t have any problems. We then roll these out across your live systems. Taking time to develop scripts or processes to ease the burden.

4. Patch Auditing

 We then conduct a patch management audit to identify any failed or pending patches and continue monitoring for any unexpected incompatibility or performance issues. We will schedule regular update scans and ensure patches are applied under specific conditions or automatically.

5. Report &  Review

 We provide you with a report on what we’ve found, what we’ve changed and what we suggest going forward, including long term solutions such as phasing out any outdated or unsupported machines, reviewing your policies, and revisiting exceptions to verify whether they still apply or are necessary.

In conclusion as they say in Starship Troopers ‘the only good bug is a dead bug! So make doing your part a little easier and talk to us today about how MarXtar can help with your patch management.

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