You have decided to purchase a Patch Management Software – that’s a good decision. Now, you must be wondering what features you need to look for when deciding on buying the software. There are a plethora of patch management softwares available, and hence picking the right one out will not be an easy task.
Why Use Patch Management Software?
Patch management is a very critical task for the security of an enterprise. An unpatched system is vulnerable to exploits and security breaches. Manual patch management is not adequate, and hence patch management software is used to automate patch management for better security.
Keeping track of the various operating systems, applications, and devices—and ensuring that any updates for them are applied in a timely manner—is better handled automatically by a patch management software when your enterprise network has more than a couple of servers and endpoints. Regulatory compliance requirements also mandate requirement of an automated patch management system. Further, automation frees up IT administrators from the routine work, so they can focus on tasks that provide more revenue to the enterprise.
What Are The Types Of Patch Management Softwares?
They are basically of two types of patch management software – local agent-based patch management softwares and agentless patch management softwares. In agent-based patch, a local agent is installed on the endpoint. This manages the updates and periodically updates its status with the server. This method is quite useful for enterprises using many mobile endpoint systems/devices.
In agentless patch management, every endpoint device is tracked, and the applications are managed directly from the central server. Patch updates are rolled out directly to these devices. This has significant advantages over agent-based patch management softwares. If hackers have been able to compromise an endpoint, they would be able to disable or delete the agent, which would render the device unpatched and vulnerable.
Each system has its own advantages and disadvantages, and you have to choose the best option to suit your enterprise.
What are the Essential Features of a Patch Management Software
Manageability – an easy to use dashboard that provides both comprehensive and detailed information about the endpoints and application softwares on them, and the patch status. A complicated dashboard would not find favor with administrators and the security measure may fail. The dashboard should display, in real-time, the patches available and the status of their update.
Integration – Usually Patch Management Software is offered as part of bouquet of tools such as Remote Monitoring and Management, Service Desk and others. This software should integrate well with such other applications. It should not cause any conflict or affect the overall performance of the enterprise system and other third-party software applications.