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Vulnerability management

Your systems are more vulnerable to attack if not maintained. Install updates and patches frequently.


  • Keep all operating systems current
  • Install a patch management tool that addresses both system and third-party software
  • Pay particular attention to systems used by remote workers

Risk factors

New vulnerabilities are constantly discovered for operating systems and third-party software. In response, vendors release updates at least monthly. If zero-day vulnerabilities are found, updates may be more frequent. 

Pay attention to these risk areas, as they are frequent targets of cybercriminals:

  • Systems that have manufacturer support but are not patched regularly
  • Systems that are not supported by the manufacturer
  • Remote systems that may not communicate with the home system frequently


Install patch management tools. Make sure that the tools can identify and remediate vulnerabilities for your:

  • Operating systems
  • Third-party software

Only use currently supported operating systems and software. 

Make sure that the tools can manage all servers and endpoints. Pay special attention to the ones that are accessed remotely. 

Implement processes that ensure all systems receive patches regularly. Apply patches within 14 days of release. With patches labeled as critical, deploy them as soon as possible. 

For zero-day vulnerabilities, prioritize public-facing systems and the highest value assets first.


Page updated November 13, 2023