With written contribution by Andy Mackay, HP Software Cloud and Automation Management
Patch management is one of the largest concerns for IT Operations. With new vulnerabilities and exploits being discovered almost daily, keeping systems up-to-date with patches is often a full-time job and it can be a drain on resources. In addition, System Administrators find that they have less time between when a vulnerability is discovered and when a virus or worm appears. In some cases this can literally be a matter of days between vuln and virus.
Cyber-attacks, for whatever reason they are committed, are easier to perform on insecure systems. Securing systems is done in many ways, all equally important and every security measure counts. One such security measure is to keep the operating system and application software on your systems up-to-date to prevent—or minimize—a successful cyber-attack when hackers target security flaws in the software running on your systems. Operating system and application vendors like HP release security updates for their products regularly and/or ASAP for extremely critical security vulnerabilities.
Applying security updates regularly (or ASAP in case of an emergency) is an established best practice to successfully counter cyber-attack attempts. This task is part of the System Administrator’s Day two Operations and many data centers are managed using multiple different tools and techniques due to the heterogeneity of the environment.
This difficult task is now made easier by using HP Data Center Automation Appliance (HP DCAA). With HPDCAA, the System Administrator is able to automate the entire patching process, from acquisition of the patches directly from the vendor, to running an audit using polices and finally remediation of the vulnerable systems. Once this process is configured for your Data Center, the System Administrator can hand this task over to the IT Operator who in turn can manage this process using HP DCAA IT Operator portal without having to access the admin consoles and therefore simplifying the overall process.