The objective of Patch Management is to keep various systems within the network up to date and secure the systems from various kinds of cyber-attacks. Patch Management is the method of installing and managing the latest patches or code changes to fix security vulnerabilities on various systems within a network.
In this blog, lets deep dive into the advantage of AWS Next Generation automated patching over the Traditional Patch management.
Traditional Patch Management
Patch management is critical to the security of computers on a network. But patching is not a one-time process. The security team/ Subject Matter Expert (SME) within any organizations had to create a scheduled scan that will routinely check for missing patches, so that the team/SME can keep the computers on the network up to date.
For example, let’s get back to the good olden days on how Microsoft updates were applied to the systems using WSUS server. The team/SME had to perform a scan to find out which updates are missing from which computers. Each time there is a plan for deploying updates, the team/ SME will have to perform a new scan. Microsoft introduced WSUS server for patch management. The prerequisites were a server running Windows Server 2003 SP1 or greater, IIS 6.0 or greater, .NET 2.0 framework, and Report Viewer 2008 Redistributable 2008. Also, a dedicated team for patch management.
Demerits of Traditional Patch Management:
- Manual Process
- A dedicated resource/team to keep track of patches, schedule scans and updates
- Possibility of human errors (miss out some critical security updates)
- Decision on the patches to install and which one to ignore and what the optimum order of installation should be
- Testing of patches before implementation requires a testing environment with spare hardware, software and SME ready adds to additional cost
As the organizations IT Head wish is to have seamless patch management. The businesses are currently moving towards the transformation journey for continuous delivery, AWS adds incredible value towards on-demand infrastructure resources and tools to empower the Devops practices.
AWS Next Gen Patching using Systems Manager
The automated enterprise patch management tools carry out the patching process by deploying or installing agents on target instances (Windows/Linux). These agents provide a connection between the centralized patch server and the computers to be patched. With AWS System Manager, the business can install and configure the SSM agent that can update, manage, and configure the AWS resources. By using the customized SSM document (part of DevOps) Cloud Comrade can ease the intricacy for the security team by running the patch baselines in the multi accounts and multi regions.
AWS Systems Manager key features:
- Automatic deployment of operating system and software patches.
- View resource groups recent API activity, resource configuration changes, related notifications, operational alerts, software inventory, and patch compliance status.
- Centralized location where operations engineers and IT professionals can view, investigate, and resolve operational issues related to the resources and to have complete control over operations.
- Customizable key insights dashboard, providing key insights and analysis into the operational health and performance of your AWS environment.
- Secure remote management of instances at scale without logging into servers, replacing the need for bastion hosts, SSH, or remote PowerShell.
- Using session manager, the business can control which users can access each instance, including the option to provide non-root access to specified users.
- Option for auto-approve select categories of patches to be installed.
- Maintenance window for patching.
- With Systems Manager, the business can control configuration details such as server configurations, anti-virus definitions, firewall settings, and more.
In Cloud Comrade, we have strong expertise in centralized multi account and region patching using customized Systems Manager document. Connect with us to know more about AWS Next Gen Automation.