Effective patch management for IT managers and service providers

 2017-01-25 11:50 AM by
Effective patch management for IT managers and service providers

Ransomware, spamware, malware, virus attacks and unauthorised device access – these are all very real business threats. Keeping your server and client devices up to date with the latest patches is vital to ensuring that your business is not compromised or threatened in any way by these threats.

Without an efficient patch management regime in place, your entire network is compromised. More often than not, software patches – especially operating system patches – are released to plug a security ‘hole’ that has been discovered and that can render your network vulnerable to attack.

What is your current patch management regime?

Whenever a software patch is released, does an engineer have to initialise the patch download and then install it manually on every single client device? Do you first need to determine the software or operating system version on each device and then ensure that you are updating each device with the required patch?

Predominantly manual patch management regimes are time consuming, reactive and risky. What’s more, the certainly don’t enhance the user experience. Manual patch management routines usually lead to mistakes occurring (like the incorrect patch being applied), errors of omission (some devices being completely overlooked) and consequent collateral damage.

Effective, proactive patch management can easily be achieved.

Imagine the following scenario: an automated, script-driven agent generates a daily report identifying every device on each client network, full details of every device and the status of each device. In the background, all relevant software patches have been downloaded (that’s one download for each relevant patch) to a centrally accessible location. Then, via a cloud-hosted management console, IT managers and authorized support personnel can, with a single mouse click, deploy all applicable patches to the correctly identified devices across the entire client environment.

What are the benefits of deploying a cloud-hosted patch management solution?

Multiple client networks can be remotely managed simultaneously.
Patches only need to be downloaded once to each network, as opposed to on each device.
Patch management can be completely automated and pro-active. The likely result of this is that many ‘downtime causing issues’ are completely avoided.
Support managers and agents don’t have to waste time and money travelling from client to client or from office to office.
Where support is actually required due to ad hoc system issues, technicians are always available to provide timeous support and resolution, as they are not distracted by routine maintenance that hasn’t been completed.
Proactive, ‘behind the scenes’ support results in customers experiencing high levels of satisfaction as a result of fewer system incidents, as well as instant resolution when problems do occur because support personnel are almost always available to resolve most issues remotely.
Client networks become more stable and efficient as remote management system reports identify devices that need replacing, either due to the fact that a device is obsolete and potentially unsupportable or faulty and causes recurring issues.
Read more about the great benefits of remote IT support tools here, then download our guide to better managing your IT network here.