Who is Responsible for Patch Management?

who is responsible for patch management

Because patch management encompasses such a long chain of actions, it can be hard to figure out who is responsible for it. Ultimately, there are many different roles involved during the patching process, each with different degrees of accountability.

Read on as we break down the main obligations of every participant in the patch management process.

Patch management’s long chain of responsibility

We’ll start with the basics. It is the responsibility of the software provider to provide patches to fix security holes and performance issues. After all, it’s in their own interest that their product works well — in the IT world, a bad reputation travels fast.

However, that’s only the first step. Once the patches are available, companies should take action to install them whilst minimising disruption. That’s why every company needs a specialised patch management team to make sure that all their applications are running as smoothly and securely as possible.

In medium to large companies, this will be the responsibility of the IT manager and their senior members of staff. Unfortunately, this is a bit trickier when it comes to smaller businesses without the budget for a dedicated IT team.

Navigating patch management in smaller businesses

In the end, every employee using a computer is responsible for patch management to some degree. Sometimes, small companies rely on each employee to make their own decisions regarding patch management. Because most software will notify its user when there is an update available, this can seem like the easy and cheap way out. At this point, we have no option but to be blunt — delegating patch management to individual end users is irresponsible and unsafe practice.

Putting the whole weight of patch management on the shoulders of end users is a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to avoid this. Not granting full admin rights to every employee will reduce the chance of an IT security fiasco. In fact, each employee should only have access to the applications or settings necessary to perform their role efficiently.

That is not to say that end users shouldn’t have a say in the patch management process. To start with, they should be consulted whenever a substantial patch is installed, as they will often know the ins and outs of the software better than the IT team. Sometimes, software developers will wipe out entire features because they’re unaware that they’re constantly used.

However, small and medium businesses have better options than relying on their employees and touching wood. If you can’t afford to employ a full-time IT specialist in your company, let an expert patch management service take over. We promise, in the end it will pay off.

In recent years, hackers have started targeting small-to-medium businesses precisely because it’s easier to break into their systems. The financial consequences of a security breach could be fatal for a smaller company, so it needs to be avoided at all costs.

Make patch management a priority

Don’t let your guard down. By investing in patch management, you’ll drastically reduce the chances of cyber-criminals attacking your company. Our team of experienced engineers can provide a fully managed patch management service to take the pressure off your employees.

With our free guide to modernising your patching strategy, you’ll have a clearer picture of the responsibilities involved in this complex process..

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