Don’t Let Your Servers Develop Cavities
Taking care of your servers is like taking care of your teeth. Practice routine maintenance, and you keep things healthy. Let things slide, and you end up with major problems. For teeth, that means cavities or gum disease. For servers, that means unpatched vulnerabilities and potential data breaches.
Of course, just because you know you should take care of your teeth doesn’t mean it’s easy to get into the habit of doing it. And the same is true for taking care of your server patches. There are several challenges:
- Tracking systems to be patched. When it comes to caring for your teeth, at least you know how many you have and where to find them. When it comes to servers, routers, and other systems that need to be patched, it isn’t that easy. Systems get added, removed, and shifted to new locations. You may have a wide variety of devices from a similarly wide variety of vendors. Getting it all recorded in a usable format and keeping the record current just doesn’t always happen. Along with tracking each system, you need to keep track of which patches have been installed on them.
- Tracking patches to be installed. Tracking the patches to be installed is the flip side of tracking components, and it’s equally as challenging. There’s a steady stream of patch notifications from vendors, along with assessments of criticality. Some patches are released on a regular schedule, while others come at random. Some patches have their own problems and are later superseded by yet another patch.
- Executing patch installation. Assuming you’ve tracked everything properly, you need to find the time to install the patches on every system that needs the update. Some systems may be difficult to access, especially if they’re in a remote location. Before you execute the patch installation, you need to test the process and make sure the patch doesn’t have any negative effect on your systems. Unless you’ve got an automated system, all of this can be time consuming and pull your staff away from other priorities—especially when an installation goes wrong.
- Balancing priorities. Installing patches could likely be a full-time job for some of your staff, but you likely can’t spare anyone to spend every day working on patches. There are many other important business priorities you need your IT team to focus on. The benefits of the time spent installing patches needs to be weighed against the risks of not installing the patch and spending time on other IT tasks.
Infrastructure and network managed services from Prescient Solutions can help you get both patches and other routine maintenance tasks under control. Our certified experts work remotely or onsite to support businesses in the Chicago and Schaumburg areas. Contact us when you need a hand catching up with patches and putting in place a process to keep up with them going forward.