What is Virtual Patching and How It Is Helpful in Vulnerability Management?

virtual patching

What is Virtual Patching?

Why Do We Need Patching?

How to Solve Patching Problems?

  • Cost Reduction — IT team may delay software patching as it could demand costly upgrade or replacement of the legacy system or re-building of enterprise application.
  • Official Patch Deployment — When patching is not made available by the software vendor, patching may be delayed
  • Uptime Preservation — IT team may pause to patch as it could require keeping the business-critical servers offline
  • Security measure compromise
  • Critical Data Exposure
  • Network and System Compromise
  • Reputational Loss
  • Financial Loss

Patch Vulnerabilities with Virtual Patching

  • Virtual patching offers a short-term stop-gap solution for a critical level of coverage until a permanent patch is available
  • Before deploying a permanent patch, it should be validated to check whether the patch will trigger new issues. This validation phase introduces additional delays. Deep security virtual patching is critical at this initial warm phase to shield the known vulnerabilities from exploitations.
  • Virtual patching is even more important for assets, which require considerable planning as well as downtime for a permanent patch to be deployed. These assets include pipeline monitoring systems, and machines running critical systems, which play a crucial role in critical infrastructures like a hydroelectric dam or electrical grids, which can’t be taken down.

How Can Businesses Benefit from Virtual Patching?

  • Buys additional time to address flaws — the most significant benefit of virtual patching is it gives the IT teams enough time required to assess the code flaw as well as test and apply required patches.
  • Ensures stronger security — It offers instant-on protection for the vulnerable components in the IT infrastructure, which can’t be patched immediately
  • Enhance regulatory compliance — It aids businesses to meet the timelines requirements like those imposed by GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and PCI (Payment Card Industry)
  • Offers flexibility — Virtual patching solutions reduce the requirement to roll out emergency patches thereby simplifies the task. Further with just input validation, you can simply update the security policy instead of adjusting the application code. It simplifies the process as well as enabling you to respond to vulnerabilities within hours.

Virtual Patching Tools

  • The virtual patching tool must be capable to break up the HTTP request into headers, parameters & uploaded files and inspect each element separately
  • It must have anti-evasion capabilities, like data sanitization and character encoding
  • The tool must be able to implement robust security rules for complex logic instead of depending only on signatures

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