Patch and Password Management
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the transition to a remote work culture, has caused a spike in cyber security incidents which is forcing organizations to re-think their security policies. When it comes to data security, password and patch management are necessary evils. It is estimated that weak and stolen passwords and non-updated software are still the number one cause behind the data breaches of today.
Fortunately, by developing effective password policies and patching your applications, unauthorized access, data thefts, and phishing attacks can all be mitigated easily. In this article, we will discuss everything related to password and patch management and how System Force is helping organizations in this respect.
What is Patch Management?
Patch management is the distribution and application of updates to any software. Most applications and software tend to get infected by vulnerabilities or bugs over time, causing them to not operate properly. These vulnerabilities can also be an entry point for malicious attacks and as such should be treated pre-emptively. By applying regularly scheduled updates and patches, companies can ensure their assets always secured.
Here are the three major items inside a network infrastructure that require regular patching and maintenance:
- Operating systems
- Embedded Systems
Let us now peek into the main benefits behind the need for patch management.
The main benefits of Patch Management
Patch management is implemented due to the following main reasons:
Security: This is the main benefit behind patch management. Fixing vulnerabilities on your susceptible software mitigates the risks of cyber-attacks and reduces security incidents.
Compliance: Adhering to compliance standards set forth by regulatory bodies is often mandatory for organizations due to the rise in cyber threats. Patch management helps in meeting those compliance standards by reducing and mitigating security risks.
Improved Features: Not only does patch management offer bug fixes but it also adds any feature and functionality updates available for the intended software. Patches are crucial when you want to ensure that you have the latest features of all your apps and software.
Let us now deep dive into password management and its benefits.
What is Password Management?
A set of best practices and principles used for storing, creating, and efficiently updating passwords is known as password management. Without proper password management in place, there is no way to prevent unauthorized access to your network. Most computer users are aware of two options for keeping their passwords secure – keeping them a secret and using alphanumeric characters. However, there is more to password management than meets the eye. Therefore, a lot of companies are investing in professional password management services that elevate your password security needs to a new level.
Let us now investigate some of the main benefits of using a password manager.
The main benefits of using a Password Manager
Centralized Storage of Passwords: Even if you create difficult yet easy to remember passwords, you still need some sort of central management for all your passwords. Most users today have several different accounts and a plethora of passwords to remember. Password managers provide the ability to create highly secure passwords that can be stored securely.
Only one Password to Memorize: The great deal about password managers is that you only need to remember one password to access your password manager. Once logged into the password manager, you can automatically log in to any of your stored accounts without needing to enter any further passwords.
Generate Random Passwords: If you hate setting up passwords or fear that anyone can crack them, then let the password manager do its job. They are great at generating random passwords that are too strong for hackers to crack.
Change Passwords Easily: Changing or resetting passwords gets simplified by password managers. For instance, if a website that you have an account with is hacked, the built-in password generator can create a new password for you. Some password managers also come with the added functionality of resetting your password with just one click. Also, changing all your passwords at once or periodically is a piece of cake when it comes to password managers.
One Password Manager Across Multiple Devices: A big advantage of using password managers is the fact that you can access one manager through various devices. Whether you are using your phone, pc, laptop, or tablet device, only one password manager is all you need to ensure the safety of your passwords.
Let us now explore how System Force is providing patch and password management to companies across the globe.
How System Force are helping.
System Force offers a password policy auditor known as Specops which is a one-stop tool for all your password security needs. From meeting compliance requirements, blocking exposed passwords to creating stronger passwords in Active Directory, Specops does it all. The tool extends the functionality of Group Policy and simplifies the management of fine-grained password policies as well. Here are the main benefits provided by this policy tool:
Blocks Weak Passwords: If you are looking to prevent dictionary attacks then this tool can provide you with a comprehensive list of vulnerable passwords. It also offers a Breached Password Protection add-on that lets you check against the latest leaks including more than 2 billion leaked passwords.
Creates Compliant Password Policies: The tool comes with compliance-driven templates and a reporting tool that ensures your passwords are matching or exceeding the standards set forth by NIST, SANS, and PCI.
Targets Password Entropy: When it comes to generating a specific password length or complexity of your password, Specops Password Policy does it for you. It blocks common character types at the beginning and end of passwords including consecutively repeated characters as well.
Along with the Specops tools, System Force also provides patch management services by utilizing well-known tools like the McAfee Mvision.
Password and patch management go hand in hand and are an integral component for a secure infrastructure. Companies like System Force are at the forefront of providing security for organizations by offering both patch and password management services. When it comes to application and data security, precaution is better than cure.