Cloud computing has transformed the way both enterprises and smaller companies conduct their businesses: Hybrid server environments which leverage the power of AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute, and other providers are now the norm, and programs that were once housed locally including sales software, email programs, 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, with IaaS revenue projected to have grown over 35% in 2017 alone, and the cloud computing market as a whole estimated to reach over $400 billion by 2020.
Parallel to this shift to cloud services, there has also been a change in how employees are accessing company data: 43% of US employees work remotely at least some of the time, and the proliferation of devices which can remotely access SaaS services means that employees do not need to regularly connect to a company network. While the move towards cloud services and remote employees has benefits in terms of cost and productivity, it also presents several challenges around network security and patching.
Staying up-to-date on patches is crucial to protect your network from attacks that exploit known vulnerabilities. However, legacy patching solutions struggle to meet the demands of modern networks and can cause more problems than they solve. As a result of this, cloud-based solutions such as Automox which treat patching as a service have emerged. When it comes to patching today’s hybrid infrastructure and remote workforce, cloud patch management systems have several advantages over on-premise or vendor-provided solutions:
Ability to Patch Hybrid Infrastructure: Many companies now use a combination of cloud and on-premise servers to makeup their infrastructure, and legacy patching solutions do not adequately patch these hybrid environments. On-premise 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-based solutions are built to patch hybrid networks with ease, and seamlessly work across varying server configurations.
Ability to Patch Remote Devices: In the past remote employees may have utilized a VPN to access company data and programs, however cloud-based SaaS programs mean that many devices have no need to connect via VPN. This presents a challenge for patching solutions which rely on on-premise servers, including the free Microsoft solution WSUS and expensive on-premise patch management services. Cloud-based patching solutions such as Automox utilize an agent that can be remotely installed on every workstation. Once installed, the Automox agent maintains an encrypted session with a their server which applies required patches when necessary, no matter where the endpoint is located.
Require minimal maintenance and support: Unlike on-premise solutions, which require dedicated servers and ongoing maintenance, cloud-based patch management systems require no maintenance from the end-user. Because these solutions rely on a cloud-based agent, they “self heal”, updating and maintaining themselves without intervention. On-premise solutions also require ongoing support from the vendor, while cloud-based Patching-as-a-Service solutions are built with ease of use in mind. These factors also contribute to the lower cost.
Future proof solution: Legacy patch automation solutions are unable to adapt as new operating systems and applications gain popularity. Employees today have the ability to download and install new software on their own, and patching solutions must be able to effectively patch vulnerabilities across all major operating systems and software applications. Cloud patch management tools are able to regularly add new applications, and push updates to all users. Cloud based patch management like Automox provide a single source of truth for patching.
Learn more about Automox as your patching system of record. Or if you want to try Automox for yourself and see how it performs in your environment, sign up for our free 15-day trial. You’ll get full platform access, no endpoint limit, and no credit card required.