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Guide to Enterprise Patch Management Technologies



Murugiah P. Souppaya, Karen Scarfone


Patch management is the process for identifying, acquiring, installing, and verifying patches for products and systems. Patches correct security and functionality problems in software and firmware. There are several challenges that complicate patch management. If organizations do not overcome these challenges, they will be unable to patch systems effectively and efficiently, leading to easily preventable compromises. This publication is designed to assist organizations in understanding the basics of enterprise patch management technologies. It explains the importance of patch management and examines the challenges inherent in performing patch management. It provides an overview of enterprise patch management technologies and it also briefly discusses metrics for measuring the technologies' effectiveness and for comparing the relative importance of patches. [Supersedes SP 800-40 Version 2.0 (November 2005): search.cfm?pub_id=150402]
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 800-40 Rev 3
Report Number
800-40 Rev 3


information security, patch management, remediation, software patches, vulnerability management


Souppaya, M. and Scarfone, K. (2013), Guide to Enterprise Patch Management Technologies, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 24, 2024)


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Created July 22, 2013, Updated May 4, 2021