Browse our list of commonly used security, privacy, and compliance terms and acronyms.
What is patch management?
Patch management is the process of identifying, acquiring, testing, and applying software updates, or patches, to a computer system or software application in order to correct vulnerabilities and security issues.
Software vendors regularly release patches to address known security vulnerabilities, bugs, and other issues that could compromise the security or stability of their products. Patch management involves a systematic approach to identifying which patches are necessary for a given system, testing the patches to ensure they will not cause any adverse effects, and deploying the patches to the affected systems.
Effective patch management is critical for maintaining the security and stability of computer systems and applications. Without regular patching, systems may be vulnerable to known security flaws that can be exploited by attackers to gain unauthorized access, steal sensitive data, or cause other types of damage.
Organizations can implement patch management policies and procedures to ensure that systems are regularly updated with the latest security patches and that any potential security vulnerabilities are addressed in a timely and effective manner. Automated patch management tools can also be used to streamline the patching process and help ensure that all systems are kept up-to-date with the latest security patches.