Optiv Cybersecurity Dictionary

What is Patch Management?

The patch management process keeps computer systems and applications up to date by routinely obtaining, testing and deploying appropriate code changes (patches) to address vulnerabilities. A good patch management process also coordinates workflow between IT and security teams and tracks deployment status.


Unpatched systems create easy targets for cyber adversaries. Gartner once estimated that 99% of exploits are based on vulnerabilities that have been known to cybersecurity pros for a year or more. While it seems like an easy fix to just stay current with patching, that's not always possible. IT teams must ensure the patch deployment process doesn't impair application and system stability or availability.

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