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The Basics of Patch Management Automation

By January 17, 2017 No Comments

The times they are a changin. This is arguably more true in today’s ever faster-paced world than it was more than 50 years ago when Bob Dylan released the song. Moore’s Law doesn’t just apply to computing power. With that in mind, if you haven’t revisited your patching process in the past year, you are going to like what you read next. Patch management and software deployment have never been easier.

 

Patch management as we all know, has always been a pain in the butt for IT departments, and the problem is two-fold. First the number of patches being released continues to increase. A 2014 Microsoft Security Intelligence Report notes that roughly 6,000 new vulnerabilities emerge every year, that equals more than 16 every day. The second challenge is the difficulty in applying patches to the various devices. In the past, devices need to be in-house behind the firewall for IT to apply patches.

 

We’ve all seen IT chasing down the laggards in the office with a jump drive to update software on their laptop. And getting patches out to remote employees was even more of a hit or miss exercise. The process was not pleasant for anyone involved. It’s no wonder some of the most exploited vulnerabilities are nearly a decade old.

 

The good news, you’re no longer relegated to expensive, on-premise solutions that only help you see the problems you have, but don’t always help you remediate them. Patch management and software deployment is now automated with cloud based solutions that provide you with real-time system monitoring, patch identification and scheduling, and remediation.

 

Here at Automox, our solution works with all operating systems (OS’s), Windows, Linux, and Mac, as well as third party software, and any custom policies you have internally. We believe patching headaches should be a thing of the past. Let technology do the work so you can focus on more important tasks that drive the business. It’s time to make the move, and once you do, the basics of keeping your automated patch management wheels moving are simple.

 

  • It’s a quick daily habit: Patch management gets out of control when you keep moving it down on the to-do list. Like your friend who has 10,000 unread messages in their inbox, once you get behind it’s hard to catch up. But making it a daily habit means less time overall spent on patching. Keeping up to date also means your network is more secure and your C-suite likes the sound of that.

 

  • Easy to schedule patches: Not every vulnerability is created equal. Some zero day vulnerabilities need to be patched quickly, others can be scheduled for later. The ability to quickly see what new patches are available and where your vulnerabilities are, means you can apply patches that meet your schedule.

 

  • Less homework: Whether you apply a canary testing environment or have a diligent “RTFM” policy, researching new patch release on community forums before deploying, an automated schedule doesn’t remove all of the risk. You still need to handle due diligence. And as someone who is on top of their patch requirements, you may also develop a reputation as a go to resource on those same forums, building your own credibility.

 

  • Communicate consistently: No one has patching on their radar outside of your department, but they surely care the minute something goes wrong. So, get it on their radar. With dashboards that give you a snapshot of everything that’s been updated in the last week/month/year, you can share this information with the executive team on a regular cadence to keep them aware of how secure the network is against vulnerabilities.

 

Patch management automation gives you back valuable time in your day. Our customers have saved 90% of the time they were spending patching the system manually. If you’d like to get the heavy lifting of patch management off your plate, shoot us a note and we’ll see what we can do to help you out. Or if you’d like to learn more about us and what we do, check us out.

Holly Hamann

Author Holly Hamann

Holly Hamann serves as Automox's Chief Marketing Officer and is an entrepreneur and start-up veteran. She has helped launch six tech companies in the social media, content, video, and marketing software industries and specializes in SaaS software marketing, content marketing, and influencer marketing. She is an American Marketing Association "Marketer of the Year" recipient and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science.

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