In the world of technology, one thing is certain: change is constant. The same applies to the software that powers our computers and devices, including the ubiquitous Windows operating system. As new features are introduced, so are new vulnerabilities. This is where Windows Patch Management comes into play.
In this blog, we'll explore why applying Windows patches is crucial, the consequences of neglecting this vital task, common reasons for patching failures, and a solution to streamline the process.
Why Should You Apply Windows Patch Management?
Protecting Your Devices and Data
Windows Patch Management is not just about keeping your operating system up to date; it's a fundamental aspect of cybersecurity. Missing patches can expose vulnerabilities that hackers are quick to exploit. In fact, 95% of all cyberattacks target unpatched vulnerabilities, emphasising the urgency of staying updated.
Improving Performance and Functionality
Windows Patching offers more than just security updates. It includes enhancements that can boost your device's performance, productivity, and accessibility options. Additionally, bug fixes for errors that might slow down, crash, or malfunction your devices are part of the Windows Updates package.
The Facts: The Consequences of Neglecting Windows Patch Management
On average, it takes organizations a whopping 106 days to patch a vulnerability, leaving ample time for potential exploits.
Shockingly, 30% of businesses do not have a formal patch management process in place, leaving them at high risk.
A staggering 68% of cyberattacks exploit vulnerabilities that have had a patch available for over a year.
The average cost of a data breach caused by an unpatched vulnerability is a massive £3.2 million.
In the healthcare industry, a concerning 94% of security breaches can be traced back to unpatched vulnerabilities.
56% of organizations have experienced a successful cyberattack due to a missing patch.
29% of businesses have suffered data loss due to unpatched vulnerabilities.
Shockingly, 82% of successful cyberattacks use known vulnerabilities for which a patch is available, highlighting the importance of timely updates.
Why Does Windows Patching Fail?
Firewall and Antivirus Software: Security software can sometimes block or interfere with the download or installation of Windows patches.
Corrupted or Missing System Files: Windows patches rely on system files to work correctly. If these files are corrupted or missing, errors can appear, indicating issues with the Windows filesystem.
Hardware Issues: Problems such as faulty memory, hard disk errors, or overheating can hinder the installation of Windows patches, leading to errors, crashes, or freezes during the update process.
Network Issues: Slow, unstable, or intermittently dropping network connections can prevent successful downloads and installations of patches.
Low Storage Space: Sufficient free storage space is necessary for downloading and installing update files.
Multiple Updates in the Queue: Sometimes, updates depend on each other, causing issues when installing patches.
Registry Errors: Registry issues or invalid entries can prevent patches from installing correctly.
Incompatible Software or Drivers: Some software or drivers may not be compatible with the latest Windows patches.
Power Outages or Interruptions: Unexpected power losses during the update process can lead to damage and failed installations.
Malware Infection: Malware can modify system settings, delete files, or block network connections, preventing patch installations.
The Solution: MCR Systems' Windows Patch Management
MCR Systems provides a state-of-the-art patching engine from NinjaOne, ensuring patch management during non-peak hours. We re-issue critical and high-risk patches and offer monthly reports with remediation recommendations.
Our SecOps team acts as your trusted eyes and ears, managing Windows Patch Management as a service for POS units. We guarantee the application of "Critical" or "High Risk" patches within 14 days of release, especially those fixing vulnerabilities. This approach aligns with the requirements for the UK Government's Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation, ensuring your system's security and compliance.
In conclusion, Windows Patch Management is not just about keeping your system up to date; it's about safeguarding your data, enhancing your device's performance, and protecting against potential cyber threats. By addressing the common and uncommon reasons for patching failures, and with the help of MCR Systems' solution, you can ensure the safety and efficiency of your Windows-based systems.