One of my clients asked me to explain superseded patches and how they relate to vulnerability management and patch management. This is a common question about a common complaint. Knowing the meaning of superseded patches and how to handle them is absolutely critical for running a successful security program.
Vulnerability management and patch management are close relatives. In most companies, think of them as siblings who hate each other. That’s usually how it plays out. It doesn’t always have to be that way, but it takes some thought and strategy from both sides. Here are some ideas for patch management strategy.
I heard an interesting question the other day: What’s the difference between a vulnerability scanner and a SIEM? Qualys and Nessus are examples of vulnerability scanners. Arcsight and Splunk are examples of SIEMs.
To a security practitioner, the tools couldn’t be much more different, but not everyone is a security practitioner.
On a basic, fundamental level, a vulnerability scanner deals in what’s missing in the environment and what could happen as a result of those things that are missing. A SIEM deals in what actually has happened and is happening.
Tom Gatermann told me about a nice tool for Debian (and presumably Ubuntu) called checkrestart. Sometimes, even though you did an apt-get update and apt-get upgrade to bring your system up to date, you can still be running the out-of-date version of something. That’s the problem checkrestart helps you solve.