A Leading U.S. Bank Leverages BigFix for a Unified Patching and Reporting Solution

Recently the U.S. Federal Government levied a substantial fine on a major U.S. Bank because they were not in full compliance for patching and reporting. The Bank uses several disparate patching tools (ie. Microsoft SCCM and Tanium) and regulators insisted the Bank have a unified reporting solution to confirm operating systems and business applications were fully patched and compliant. This resulting in the Bank implementing BigFix to:

• Identify available patches
• Identify endpoints that are noncompliant and in need of patching

Additionally, the Bank needed to monitor over 150 third-party applications and to build BigFix Fixlets™ as patches or updates are released for those applications.
This article illustrates an area that is consistently overlooked and not discussed: validation. What does validation mean? One definition is “the action of checking or proving the validity or accuracy of something.” In terms of systems management, validation is the act of verifying that actions were taken and performed as expected.

As is evident with the increasing frequency of data breach announcements, timely and accurate patch management grows ever more critical. However, there needs to be an equally critical discussion about the importance of patch validation.

• Do you know how your current patch solution validates that a patch was properly installed?
• Does it check an exit code from the Windows Update Agent, or does it just scan the registry to see if the patch Knowledge Base (KB) number is listed?
• What happens if the patch KB is listed as installed; but not properly deployed and installed?

When this happens, a false sense of security results and security risk increases dramatically.

BigFix Patch Deployment
BigFix Patch does not rely on other tools to validate that patches are properly installed. In fact, BigFix Patch does not rely on any other software to deploy patches.

Let’s walk through a scenario when Microsoft releases a patch: the BigFix Team generates a Fixlet™ which contains both the necessary content to deploy the patch as well as the steps required to validate that the patch is successfully installed. This content is published to the BigFix Content Servers. The local BigFix server automatically pulls the content down from the BigFix Content Servers and notifies BigFix clients that there is new content. This allows clients to quickly evaluate the Fixlet™, only reporting back to the local BigFix Server if the patch is relevant and needed.

The BigFix operator only sees which systems need the patch and has the option to manually deploy the patch or to create an automatic Patch Policy to automate and speed deployment. Once targeted, the BigFix client will check to make the sure the patch is still needed, and if still relevant, will download and install the patch.

BigFix Patch Validation
BigFix patch validation is a key differentiator. Once the patch has been deployed, the validation process is initiated. BigFix leverages the same check, or multiple checks, that determined the patch was relevant, and in doing so, verifies the patch was properly deployed and installed. As an example, if a check determined that a dynamic link library (DLL) file at version 1.1 needed to be patched, the validation process uses the same check to make sure the patched DLL file is no longer at version 1.1. Because patch validation checks are part of the Fixlet itself, manually created validation checks are unnecessary thus avoiding inadvertent errors.

Summary
Patch deployment is important, but validating that patches are deployed properly is critical to improving security posture across the enterprise. Several tools on the market lack the ability to accurately and consistently report patch status and compliance. BigFix is highly valued in this regard because of how BigFix works, its reliable and scalable architecture, and its multiplatform support of Windows, Linux, UNIX and macOS environments. Patch validation definitively reports on patch status and compliance which is why the large US Bank invested in BigFix to satisfy government regulators and avoid fines. It also illustrates why organizations implement BigFix to add value to, or extend the functionality of, other patching tools they currently have deployed.

Champion Solutions Group has extensive experience and skill sets for the BigFix platform. We follow a proven, time-tested methodology to discover what you have today, the gaps that need to be filled, and how to close those gaps.

This content has been originally authored on BigFix.com.

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WRITTEN BY:

Erick Bacallao joined Champion Solutions Group in 2015 after a career of Software Development in Cuba at the National Cancer Care Institute of Cuba, followed by moving to the States with allAware.

 

Champion acquired allAware and its properties and Erick has utilized his extensive background and expertise in IT and Software Development to rise to VP of Product Development in less than 5 years. During this time, Erick has been involved with key projects that led to the launch of numerous products including CSP Boss, Inscape platform and 365 Productivity Insights.

 

Erick has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Havana. He won Gold Medals for Programming from the Ministry of Education in Cuba, and he is certainly still a Gold Medalist for Champion!

 

As President and CEO, Chris is responsible for the development of key strategic alliances and solution portfolio. He leads Champion’s go-to market and execution strategies for integrated offerings in the cloud, in security, and in digital infrastructure, always focusing on improving the customer experience and driving transformative business outcomes.

 

He also aligns key partner initiatives with company strategy and oversees corporate marketing and messaging to gain mindshare with customers and partners. It’s his vision and innovativeness that have catapulted Champion up the ranks to become a $100M+ organization—and one of the most respected solution providers in the industry.

 

Over the past two decades, Chris has also focused on mergers and acquisitions, as well as innovative product development. He is the original founder and an active member on the Board of Managed Maintenance, Inc., a SAAS provider and consulting firm that utilizes their award-winning One-View Portal to help the IT Channel and its customers manage their IT Maintenance.

 

Chris is also the original founder and chief strategist behind one of the original storage cloud providers, Storage Access / BluePoint. During the course of a few short years, he had raised $20M and took that company public on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It has since been acquired by Pomeroy.

 

In 2012, Chris led the acquisition of MessageOps and continued the product development and worldwide launch of its premier SAAS, 365 Command. Built on Microsoft Azure, 365 Command is currently managing over 1 million seats of Microsoft’s Office 365. After achieving this phenomenal milestone, 365 Command and other MessageOps O365 utilities were sold to Kaseya.

 

Over the past 35 years, Chris as worked tirelessly to not only advance his own career, but those of his employees. In addition to leading a $100M organization, Chris can also be found sitting with sales teams, cold calling and coaching, and validating why Champion has been listed on Best Places to Work by both South Florida Business Journal and Computerworld.

Ultimately, the success garnered by Champion Solutions Group, its associated companies, and their employees is due in large part to the leadership of its President and CEO. Perhaps the most fitting award Chris has earned is South Florida Business Journal’s 2013 Ultimate CEO Award.