The OGO Blog

Should Your Credit Union Move to Managed Patching?

Managed patching for credit unions from ongoing operations

There are plenty of odious tasks in the credit union industry. That goes double for operations staff. But few of those tasks are worse than patching. That’s why managed patching services exist for credit unions.

But should you use them?

Only you can decide what’s best for your credit union. However, because patching is an important component of your security and compliance concerns, the idea certainly has merit. Read on to learn more.

Why Patching Is Important

The easiest solution to the constant stream of patches would be to ignore them. If you ignore a problem, it goes away, right?

Of course, not patching opens your credit union to all sorts of risks. Here are a few reasons why you definitely need to stay on top of your patching:

1.    Patching helps with security

This is one of the big ones. Credit unions see a lot of personally identifiable information and financial data. You want to make sure that nobody else has access to that information.

According to www.darkreading.com, nearly 60% of organizations that suffered a data breach in the past two years cite as the culprit a known vulnerability for which they had not yet patched. Patching improves the security of programs, networks, and infrastructure. So, one of the main purposes of patching is to ensure the security of your credit union, as well as the safety and privacy of your members.

2.    Patching for compliance

The credit union industry is no stranger to strict regulatory requirements. You don’t just have to protect sensitive information because it’s the right thing to do—you also have to do it because it’s the law.

If you want to show your examiners and auditors that you’re taking privacy and security seriously, then you need to show them that you’re staying on top of patching.  Examiners expect credit unions to have a robust patch policy, system, checklists, and proof that their systems are being patched consistently and intelligently.

3.    Patching for performance

Patching is a way of fixing errors and bugs, sure. But patching is also a way to improve performance. Sometimes patching means adding compatibilities or features, and sometimes it’s just to speed things up a bit.

No matter the reason, patching is an important consideration for performance.

What Is Managed Patching?

Patches are just improvements to existing software. Patching is the act of downloading and installing those improvements. But you already knew that.

And, if you already knew that, then you probably also know what managed patching is:

It’s when other people handle the patching process for you. They search for necessary patches, install them, and provide ongoing support through training, troubleshooting, and so on. Essentially, managed patching is the act of making someone else do your tedious dirty work.

Is Managed Patching Right for My Credit Union?

Patch management isn’t as small of a job as it sounds. Credit unions run on a massive amount of sophisticated hardware and software. Individual programs or devices may not release new patches all that often, but when there are enough of them? With all the different applications from core systems, lending systems, and collection systems, there is a ton of complexity and a lot of things can break when patching is not done methodically.  Sometimes that patching seems like a constant annoyance.

Unfortunately, credit union IT departments generally have a lot on their plates already. They don’t always have time to take care of the little things. It’s very easy to accidentally let a couple of patches slip through the cracks.

Then, the next thing you know, your auditor finds out. Or, even worse, you have a security issue.

Nobody wants to deal with that.

Managed patching might be right for your credit union for several reasons:

  • If you have a short-staffed or overworked IT department
  •  If you have a sizeable digital environment that requires constant vigilance with patches
  • If you have any compliance concerns or issues
  • If you’d like peace of mind when it comes to security
  • If you’d prefer to keep your in-house operations staff focused on higher-level work

If any of the above sound like something that you’d be interested in, then a patch management service may be for you. However, if nothing above sounds like it fits your needs, then you may consider skipping managed patching.

More Reading

The internet is filled with an insane amount of information. Really, you could never read all of it.

However, if you tried really hard, you could read all of our blogs. If you’d like to read more about how to keep your credit union up and running no matter what, then follow our blog!

Or don’t say “yes” to life (and our blog)—just follow the links below to see what else we’re written recently.

Why is Credit Union Patching So Difficult? Does it Need to Be?

Managed Patching