The Competitive Advantage of Cloud Patch Management

Cloud computing has transformed the way both enterprises and smaller companies conduct business: Hybrid server environments which leverage the power of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine, and other providers are now the norm, and programs that were once housed locally including sales software, productivity tools, and file storage, are now primarily cloud-based.

The Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) industries have both grown tremendously in the past few years. According to IDC, sales of cloud IT infrastructure products increased over 34% in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. Given the massive and unexpected shift to remote work due to COVID-19 earlier this year, we can surmise that the organizational restructuring caused many companies to rethink their IT infrastructures and consider cloud-delivered services that offer greater flexibility while removing infrastructure burden.

34% increase in cloud IT infrastructure sales in 2020

While many had initially met cloud adoption with hesitation in the past, the industry has now reached a point where cloud-based services have been integrated to some extent across the vast majority of organizations, mostly in hybrid environments, providing extensive proof of the benefits realized through such a transition.  It is no longer sufficient to simply maintain legacy on-premises tools when so many others are embracing more efficient solutions, creating a competitive advantage for those who have already made the leap. Those that continue to avoid embracing the turning tide will be left at a noticeable disadvantage, partially in the form of increased exposure and partially from the inability to accomplish more with the same amount of time and resources.

Patch management is a prime example of the disparity that’s created between those that integrate SaaS solutions in their IT environment and those that refrain. Patching has always been seen as a tedious, time-consuming, manual chore that’s still critical to ongoing operations. While many understand the necessity of continuously maintaining up-to-date software on their IT assets, no one really wants to tie up valuable IT staff for multiple days each month to accomplish this goal.

More often than not, patches are only partially rolled out weeks or even months after release, increasing exposure and risk for an organization. Even then, companies are still devoting a significant amount of time over the course of a year to this burdensome task. Those that have sought out a better way to tackle this ongoing nuisance have discovered the efficiencies provided by cloud-native solutions, automating most of their manual workflows while removing unnecessary overhead and infrastructure that creates increasing cost and resource demands. While this illustrates just one example, cloud-native platforms have ushered in a host of benefits for companies of all sizes; streamlining operations, minimizing risk, and decreasing costs while highlighting the lagging pace and costly nature of legacy tools that weigh down those organizations that continue to delay the future.

Easily Secure Hybrid Environments: Many companies now use a combination of cloud and on-premises servers to make up their infrastructure, and legacy endpoint solutions are incapable of adequately patching and securing these hybrid environments. On-premises solutions require additional configuration and workarounds to patch cloud-based servers, and even then may not be able to handle a mix of Windows and various Linux distros. Cloud-native solutions are built to secure hybrid networks with minimal effort, and seamlessly work across varying server configurations.

Effortlessly Manage Remote Endpoints: In the past, most remote employees were forced to use a VPN to access company data and programs, however cloud-based SaaS platforms remove the need to connect via VPN. This presents a challenge for patching solutions which are dependent upon on-premises servers, including the free Microsoft solution WSUS and expensive on-premises endpoint management tools. Cloud-native patching solutions are able to utilize an agent that can be remotely installed on every workstation. These agents can maintain an encrypted session with their server,  which applies required software updates when necessary, no matter where the endpoint is located and what type of OS it runs on.

Zero Infrastructure Requirements: Unlike on-premises solutions, which require dedicated servers and ongoing maintenance, cloud-native services require no additional hardware or software to maintain. Aside from removing the need for additional infrastructure and maintenance, organizations leveraging cloud-based services no longer have to worry about versioning and potential downtime caused by upgrades. SaaS solutions are always up-to-date and enable faster rollout of new features and functionality. Those that continue to use on-premises tools are burdened with not just the additional hardware, software, and maintenance costs, but the overhead and staff resources needed to ensure operational stability.

About Automox Patch Management

Facing growing threats and a rapidly expanding attack surface, understaffed and alert-fatigued organizations need more efficient ways to eliminate their exposure to vulnerabilities. Automox is a modern cyber hygiene platform that closes the aperture of attack by more than 80% with just half the effort of traditional solutions.

Cloud-native and globally available, Automox enforces OS & third-party patch management, security configurations, and custom scripting across Windows, macOS, and Linux from a single intuitive console. IT and SecOps can quickly gain control and share visibility of on-prem, remote and virtual endpoints without the need to deploy costly infrastructure.

Experience modern, cloud-native management today with a 15-day free trial of Automox and start recapturing more than half the time you're currently spending on managing your attack surface. Automox dramatically reduces corporate risk while raising operational efficiency to deliver best-in-class security outcomes, faster and with fewer resources.

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