This blog post is an excerpt from our report created in partnership with Oracle, Improving Federal Security With Automated Patching. To download the full report, head here.
One of the most effective ways for agencies to protect against cyberattacks is by building security into their IT infrastructure from the start.
Automating manual processes, particularly security patching, in the data center is the key factor that will allow federal agencies to meet compliance standards and keep data secure while freeing up resources for other critical tasks. Below are best practices for building security into IT infrastructure.
1. Keep your systems secure with automated zero-downtime patching
Zero-downtime patching automates the rollout of patches or updates across a domain while allowing your applications to continue servicing requests. This allows you to roll out distributed patches to multiple clusters or to your entire domain with a single command, all without causing any service outages or loss of session data for the end user. Oracle Linux and Ksplice provide the kernel, hypervisor and user space live patching required for automated zero-downtime patching. It takes what was once a tedious and time-consuming task and replaces it with a consistent, efficient and resilient automated process, that does not disrupt operations. Additionally, it removes the need to negotiate and schedule downtime for the layers above the operating system, saving time and resources.
2. Address critical compliance requirements and close security gaps
To comply with government regulations and standards, enforce comprehensive security controls wherever your data resides across complex hybrid environments. Use technology that can help you address these compliance risks and help you close the security gap, like an OS that automatically applies patches and security updates while running – eliminating downtime and human error, and providing increased protection against emerging threats and zero-day vulnerabilities.
3. Implement repeatable practices – in the data center and the cloud – using prebuilt or customized templates
Consistency is key. Use standard prebuilt or customized templates for deploying new database and application environments. This will help you enforce best security practices and reduce human errors while ensuring consistent environments across your data centers. Additionally, templates that already include your database and applications save you a lot of time and effort, enabling rapid deployment.
4. Partner with a trusted vendor that has a track record of supporting mission-critical infrastructure
Agencies can’t navigate this journey alone, and will require vendors in their path to improve the security of their infrastructure. Partner with vendors that offer the technology and support you require.
For example, Oracle has a proven track record of meeting government agency requirements with their solutions, expertise and technical support. Oracle’s enterprise-class operating system, Oracle Linux, can provide the performance, data integrity and application uptime necessary for business-critical production environments. Thousands of customers run Oracle Linux to enable continuous availability and Oracle runs its cloud with over 61 billion transactions per day on Oracle Linux.
To learn more about increasing IT infrastructure security in federal agencies, download the full report here.