Recently, Apple released several new versions of their operating systems (OS):
Each of these updates includes important security content for businesses, including remote code execution threats, which can run programs on your devices without permission or even your knowledge.
More than 70 separate threats, called Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs), are covered by these critical security updates to Apple’s core operating systems. Those threats are classified in aggregate by the Center for Internet Security’s MS-ISAC working group as high risk to both businesses and governments, and should be patched “after appropriate testing”.
MS-ISAC says that in order to stay ahead of the game with security, organizations need to:
- Update in a timely manner.
- Apply the principle of least privilege to their systems.
- Restrict access to unsafe sites through the use of security software, and
- Train employees on what is and is not safe to do with work devices.
Why Patching Matters
If your organization does not have a plan to patch operating systems in the field, especially amongst remote workers, you’re at risk of compromise by attackers taking advantage of known vulnerabilities.
The cost of a remote code execution attack, like ransomware, can be absolutely crippling to organizations of all sizes. Cybersecurity Dive put the average cost of a ransomware attack at $1.4M for 2021. Though the per-attack cost is lower than in 2020 (which averaged $1.8M), there were substantially more attacks in 2021 than in previous years.
While the costs for these attacks are often borne by cybersecurity insurers through business continuity policies, the requirements for maintaining these policies are increasing substantially, placing the burden on IT admins.
How JumpCloud Patch Management Can Help
There’s no question that these crippling attacks are at the forefront of IT administrators’ minds, as just shy of 60% of the respondents to JumpCloud’s 2022 IT Trends Study listed security as their biggest focus.
A large part of security is staying on top of your OS patch management. While patching can sometimes seem daunting, especially if you have critical line-of-business applications, there are ways to ease your fears. It doesn’t have to be scary to build good testing regimes to surface problems early, test in isolation, and then deploy updates confidently and automatically using JumpCloud’s Patch Management policies.
With automatic prompting for your end-users, grace periods for installation, and automated concentric rings to keep things running smoothly, you can cross patch management off your worries list and know that you’re doing everything you can to protect your organization’s digital presence.