How security patch management works
To understand the power of DevOps tactics, take the example of Security Patch Management. Security patches roll in like the tide: they are constant, relentless and very difficult to control without some kind of powerful tool. Companies that would like to push out releases of new applications might want to gloss over known security vulnerabilities so they can stay on schedule. But ignoring those patches is risky, as anyone familiar with the Equifax breach can tell you.
A lot goes into these patches, which is why manually implementing them across an entire ecosystem of enterprise products and systems is a lot of work. With constrained budgets and limited resources, IT teams struggle to keep up with the patches. That is where security patch management comes in. With a security patch management policy in place, teams have a basis for addressing their security vulnerabilities and then taking steps to fix them. The policy acts as a guideline for when patch rollouts occur, so the team knows exactly what to do.
Then, with a policy in place, the strategy can be automated – now the DevOps model comes into play. Patch management tools are a key ingredient for basic DevOps practices. There is just one problem, though: many automated tools do not cover open source vulnerabilities. This is a type of security issue that is not published in a neat, centralized package in a single database for security teams to access. It is all over the internet in many forms, which means more tools are needed just to find out what these open source vulnerabilities are.
Finally, there is the matter of continuously testing and monitoring all of those patches. Combine all this arduous work with a fast-paced environment and you can see why traditional IT teams are stretched to the limit!