Linux is the world’s most popular open-source operating system that powers most of the web servers and almost all of the cloud infrastructure. It works behind the most popular servers, systems, and smartphone technology, including android.
That’s why having a constant eye on endpoints and implementing an efficient patch management strategy becomes mandatory for Linux servers. Plus, the ever-increasing issue of data security and regular removal of bugs or upgrading the system demands a reliable patching process.
So, if you want to know how all of it works and what are the benefits of patching, here is quick information about Linux patching –
Linux Patch Management
Being an open-source operating system, Linux needs more attention from the administrator as a single incompatible change can generate unwanted issues in the whole organization.
Therefore, when it comes to patching, this complex OS requires more than technical expertise. Unlike other OS where patches are released in an orderly way, Linux needs downloading patches from vendors and manual or automatic deployment.
Benefits of an Efficient Patch Management Tool
Before we move ahead to how patch management works, let’s understand why it is necessary and beneficial to patch the Linux server.
Here are the top benefits of Linux Patch Management –
- Unpatched web servers can become a threat to cybersecurity; hence patching is essential to stop all data breaches and security.
- Bug fixes and improved functionality of the software
- Fixes issues of driver or software.
- A great patch management tool also relieves you of custom scripting or manual deployment and eliminates the chances of human error.
- Patching resolves future issues – when a server needs patching and it doesn’t get that issue sorted as soon as possible, chances are it will need more patches in the future and may also become an issue of cybersecurity.
- An automatic patch management process saves time and effort and increases the chances of successful patching.
How does Patch Management Work?
The whole patch management involves some key procedures that you can do manually (which requires a tremendous amount of time and effort) or select a patch management software that does everything automatically.
Depending upon the distribution or distributions that you are running, you can decide your patch management strategy. Every distribution like CentOS/Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Ubuntu, OpenSUSE and SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server), Oracle, Amazon Linux 2 has its own patch management tools to help you in patching the server.
Otherwise, you can go for a single tool that works with all major distributions like JetPatch.
When you run a vulnerability scan on all devices, your scanning tool examines endpoints for missing patches and updates you if the system needs a patch and what exact patching it needs.
The next job is executing the patching with the right patch management tool. For that purpose, you have to download the updates or patches and run a full test in a non-production environment. If the results are successful, you continue the deployment according to your deployment policies, and the patching is done.