Patch and update management can often become a burden for IT because it’s not just the application software you manage – it’s the whole stack from application servers, load balancers, databases, monitoring, and security software. Despite the complexity, adoption of agile development best practices, like automated testing, can help streamline the process. So, why is it important to make this investment in your operations? Let’s take a look at five reasons that patching and updating software is critical to the success of your applications
The threat landscape for software is constantly evolving because hackers want to get your data. Even software that is highly secure at the time of its release can become vulnerable over time as hackers search for weaknesses in the code. Software patches and update are designed to be cumulative. If you have fallen behind, getting current will address any vulnerabilities that have developed over time. This keeps your systems safe from malicious software and the hackers trying to gain access to your data. A notable data breach in May 2017 was caused by the March Struts Bug. As the name indicates, the bug was identified in March 2017, and a patch was quickly made available. Despite this, a delay in deploying the patch in a timely fashion, led to one of the largest data breaches in US history.
Compliance is closely tied to security because global regulations are enacted to protect personal data from falling into the hands of hackers. Standards bodies can require that systems maintain a patch management process and are operating on supported infrastructure and software to maintain compliance with applicable regulation.
Whether it’s a patch or an update, every release of software addresses bugs both known and reported by clients. Patching has a cumulative effect, so even if you are a little behind, updating to the current version and patch will address all of the bug fixes applied from your version and the current version.
All software has a lifecycle, and Pega is no different. On October 1, 2021, we announced a change to our extended support policy that pertains to all versions of our software. Extended support begins 18 months after the general availability of a minor update and lasts 18 months. This means that if you are running an older version of Pega Software, extended support ends June 30, 2023. During extended support, Pega patches the software only based on critical impacts to security or client production. In most cases, the best course of action is for clients to be current on our latest release and patch. Not only is this the most secure and stable version of Pega, but it is also the most feature rich.
5. New and enhanced features
Updates not only fix bugs and address security vulnerabilities, they also contain new and enhanced features. Product teams take feedback from clients and the market to help deliver ongoing value to clients with each update – so don’t you want to take advantage of the latest innovations? While you could delay accepting the latest update, do you really want to miss out on incorporating all of that value? Of course not, that’s why software has evolved from term licenses to subscriptions. Updates ensure you maximize your return on that subscription.
Software patching and updates contain a lot of value and it may seem daunting to apply them with the high frequency agile development provides. Modern operational practices like automated testing and patching processes can make updating seamless for your users. Pega Cloud® delivers patching at zero downtime and updates with near-zero downtime. And Pega provides you with best practices if you choose to operate on your own cloud to achieve the same results.
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