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Software patches are fixes issued by software vendors; they are usually meant to repair security vulnerabilities and functionality problems in their products. Sometimes the vulnerabilities present in software can leave companies' IT systems open to attacks by hackers. Regular and timely software patching is therefore necessary if companies want to ensure that their computing environment is secure.
Generally, there are three main patching strategies that companies use:
- Reactive Patching: Companies install patches only after they experience the problem that the patch is meant to solve.
- Proactive Patching: Companies install patches before they experience the problem that the patch is meant to solve.
- Combination Approach: Companies practice a combination of reactive and proactive patching strategies.