Patching Versus Isolating Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities- Which is Better in 2024?

DMARC Report
Patching Versus Isolating Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities- Which is Better in 2024?

Being in 2024, you can’t overlook cybersecurity, and one of the fundamental strategies in managing and mitigating cyber threats involves addressing vulnerabilities in software and systems. While there are several ways to deal with existing vulnerabilities, the two common and emerging ones are patching and isolating

According to Verizon’s 2024 Data Breach Investigations Report, vulnerability exploitation increased almost threefold last year, accounting for 14% of all breaches. This surge is the result of the increasing number of attacks targeting vulnerabilities on unpatched systems and devices.  The MOVEit software is considered one of the significant drivers of these attacks, which hit the education sector first and now has expanded its maliciousness to fiance and insurance departments too. 

These recent findings are a testament to the fact that cybercriminals spare no one, and hence, you should know what to do when your devices and software become their targets. 

data breach

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While patching means timely updating and fixing software and devices to close security loopholes, the isolating approach focuses on restricting access to vulnerable components to reduce exposure. Both methods have their own significance, scope, and use-case scenarios, so it’s important to understand their nuances and implications. This blog discusses both in detail. SPF, DKIM, and DMARC are essential for email security, ensuring authenticity, integrity, and protection against spoofing and phishing attacks.

Patching Vulnerabilities

As mentioned above, patching means fixing the problematic components, which is usually a permanent solution to specific vulnerabilities. That’s why it’s demonstrable for standard and legal compliance, mitigating the overall risk exposure.

Patching vulnerabilities makes your technical infrastructure stronger, improving your cybersecurity posture. If we talk about software patches, then these are released by software vendors, and all you have to do is update them. Some updates fix performance bugs as well as provide enhanced features. 

There are two ways of updating the software- manually and automatically.

Manual Updates

To manually update software with their patched versions, you will have to visit the vendor’s website to download and install software files

Automatic Updates 

For automatic updates, you have to give your consent when installing or configuring software to update them automatically. 

install software

We recommend enabling automatic updates whenever possible so that bad actors don’t find a window to exploit your devices and software.

Problems with Patching

  • It’s difficult to find system vulnerabilities, especially for an extended IoT structure, as hundreds and thousands of components are involved.
  • Not all vulnerabilities are exploitable, so the white hat hacker only needs to fix the exploitable ones. Fixing non-exploitable vulnerabilities is a waste of time and money.
  • Patching is time-consuming. It can take a few hours to many weeks, and the average time to apply critical patches is 16 days. During this time, hackers can take advantage of security loopholes.
  • If not done by a certified and experienced white hat hacker, patching can lead to the emergence of new bugs and vulnerabilities.
  • Open-source software often take time to update, and in some cases, they can’t be updated at all.
  • In an unpartitioned system, vulnerability exploitation exposes critical data and disrupts operations, letting hackers penetrate deeper and into larger systems. To avoid this, white hat hackers must also fix unimportant firmware, increasing their workload and the company’s expenses. 

Isolating Vulnerable Components

Threat isolation and containment is the practice and use of tools to identify, isolate, and limit the impact of vulnerable components if someone exploits them. A well-structured isolation strategy involves advanced threat detection, segmentation and access controls, isolation mechanisms, automated response, and continuous monitoring

Why Devise a Solid Threat Isolation and Containment Strategy?

Here’s how isolating vulnerable components limits the impact of an attack, giving you a window to focus on fixing the threat or getting rid of it altogether. 


1. Blocking Lateral Movement

On isolating the vulnerable components, you break the bridge connecting a threat actor to other components of your IT structure, preventing lateral movement. By stopping their reach from one compromised endpoint to another, you confine the threat to its initial entry point.

2. Minimal Downtime

By containing the threat, you allow IT teams to focus on affected areas without being distracted by potential threats spreading across the entire network, speeding up the remediation process. Also, the critical systems stay up and fully available, which is all the more important for businesses where uptime matters a lot for operations, revenue generation, and customer service– for example, online shopping or ticket-booking platforms.

3. Data Protection

This practice also protects critical and sensitive data from being accessed or compromised by threat actors. It limits the exposure and exploitation of confidential details that could otherwise lead to regulatory violations or reputational damages


Overall, both methods are vital for keeping your IT infrastructure up and running despite vulnerabilities. While patching ensures there are no loopholes, isolating limits the exposure to data and other components when updated patches are not available. So, a combination of both is what will sail your boat. 

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