To ensure client endpoints and servers are proactively updated as soon as patches are available, Qualys announced it is integrating zero-touch patching capabilities into Qualys Patch Management, with the aim of reducing overall attack surface.
Qualys has identified that a lack of alignment between vulnerability and patch processes led to vulnerability remediation to become a key pain point for many organisations. To identify vulnerabilities, the current process involves multiple teams that draw from various resources and scanning tools before a specialised patching team can initiate remediation.
According to Surendra Nemani, head of security engineering at Infosys, Qualys Patch Management assists with quickly patch remote systems based on vulnerability-driven priorities without the need for a VPN.
"The automation allows us to set up patching in advance, matching patch correlation to prioritised vulnerabilities without the need for the typical back and forth between security and IT teams," Nemani said.
"What's exciting about the new zero-touch capabilities is the support for third-party apps like Microsoft, Adobe and various browsers.
"We chose Qualys Patch Management as it is natively integrated into Qualys VMDR and allows cross-platform remediation."
Qualys Patch Management is designed to leverage the Qualys Cloud Platform and Cloud Agents to help IT and security teams quickly and efficiently remediate vulnerabilities and patch systems.
The newly integrated intelligent automation allows prioritisation of vulnerabilities based on threat indicators such as ransomware, matching of prioritised vulnerabilities with known patches, and a zero-touch “set and forget” feature designed to proactively patch devices and applications per predefined policies. An organisation can create a policy to keep Adobe Reader software always patched on all employee laptops for example.
Endpoint security needs to concentrate on taking intelligence from detection and response workflows for better prevention, according to Chris Kissel, research director in IDC's Security & Trust Products Group.
"Qualys is uniquely positioned to leverage both vulnerability and threat intelligence insights in its patching solution,” Kissel added.
“Cleverly, Qualys’ approach of taking patch remediation a step further with the addition of zero-touch automation eliminates non-caustic threats like always patching Chrome or iTunes.
"It is a welcome addition that helps companies reduce their attack surface while also freeing up IT and Security resources to focus on more strategic areas.”
The new capabilities on Qualys Zero-Touch Patch are aimed at enabling organisations to reduce the risk from threats like ransomware by intelligently identifying and automatically deploying the proper patches and configuration changes required for remediating vulnerabilities. Threat indicators such as ransomware, active attacks, exploitability or lateral movement are prioritised based on real-time leveraging on Qualys VMDR (Vulnerability Management, Detection and Response) with the aim of reducing cyber risk.
To further improve client patch governance efforts, the application of patches for compliance is also automated to help security teams align with regulatory and internal security policies.
By identifying the riskiest products in the environment, organisations can focus automation efforts on those that introduce the most vulnerabilities. In addition, the quick application of low operational risk patches also reduces the overall time to remediation improving vulnerability SLAs.
Nastasha is a Journalist at Momentum Media, she reports extensively across veterans issues, cyber security and geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific. Previously, she was a Content Producer at Verizon Media, a Digital Producer for Yahoo! 7 and Channel 7, a Digital Journalist at Sky News Australia, as well as a Website Manager and Digital Producer at SBS Australia. She started her career in media as a Video Producer and Digital News Presenter at News Corp Australia.