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Patch Gap: Not As Wide As It Seems

We all know that patch management is time consuming, resource intensive, complicated and riddled with compliance requirements. Let’s be honest. A healthy patching program can be expensive. In 2013, the US Department of Energy said the same thing and commissioned FoxGuard Solutions to simplify the process for energy delivery industrial control systems via a Cybersecurity for Energy Delivery Systems (CEDS) project. Jump ahead four years later and it’s time for you to reap the benefits of your tax dollars.

FoxGuard Solutions has partnered with TDi Technologies to develop a Patch Gap solution that is intended to not only simplify patch management, but to provide intelligence along the way. Essentially, TDi’s Consoleworks platform has been customized to gather asset information, specifically your installed patch level, to securely pass over to FoxGuard. From there, FoxGuard is able to determine which patches need to be installed to get your assets “current” and secure. (There’s lot of wand waving and secret sauce in there, but it’s important to understand that FoxGuard is able to do this because we can determine what TYPE of patches, as well as the RELATIONSHIP between the patches, are applied on each asset.) This means that if your relay is three updates past due, FoxGuard will assess each missing patch and determine if all three patches are cumulative, as well as security patches, so we will only pass back the most recent patch. Once that patch is installed, you’re up to date! (And secure. Did I say that already?!)

Once FoxGuard has completed its magic wand waving, we pass this information back to Consoleworks. From there, you will be able to see the patch details and be able to assess which patches you want to install now or mitigate to install later. This integrated process is able to happen on a scheduled basis so you don’t have to worry about the details. (We just saved you time AND money. See what we did there?) You can focus on your day job and keep the lights on.

Have we talked compliance yet? Since FoxGuard is providing due diligence to check every asset no less than every 35 days, we can attest that all of your items have been checked. This makes auditors happy. Happy auditors make all of us happy.

So now that you understand what we’ve been up to, give us call. Our team LOVES to talk about this project and find ways to help.

FoxGuard provides a wide range of patch management solutions that help entities identify and mitigate gaps in the security of their systems and prepare for NERC CIP audits. We host a webinar series to discuss ways to develop and implement a robust patch management program. Reserve your spot in our next session.


If you want to discuss something specific, we will do that too! Just reach out, tell us what your challenges are, and we will have one of our security experts contact you.