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How Can I Reduce My Patching Workload?

By February 8, 2018 No Comments
Patching Workload

Each year brings an increasing number of dangerous vulnerabilities: By September 2017 16,000 vulnerabilities had been reported for the year, breaking 2016’s record with a full quarter until the end of the year. At the same time, the number of vendors present in a company’s network through 3rd party software has also gone up. In 2017, the average number of applications accessing a company’s network was 181, double the number found in 2016. As these numbers have risen, the number of new patches for an infrastructure has grown exponentially. To maintain cyber hygiene, you need a patch management process that allows them to quickly assess and apply patches.

The longer you wait to apply patches, the larger the backlog becomes, making it seem as though you’ll never catch up. This may be true if you patch manually. Regardless, unapplied patches increases your risk of exploitation from known vulnerabilities. Over half of IT departments already report being unable to keep up with patching, and the problem will only increase as multiple operating systems become the norm, and 3rd party software is increasingly adopted by end users.

Manual patch management requires too much oversight to handle a large patching backlog. On premise patch automation tools help to a degree, but many are expensive, can require complex configuration, and only support specific operating systems. In order to successfully get through a patching backlog and reduce the amount of effort patching takes going forward, companies must consider a cloud based solution that provides three key features:

Full Visibility into Patch Status: Visibility into your infrastructure, operating systems, 3rd party applications. Seeing the current patch status for each endpoint is crucial to ensure you’re aware of outstanding patches and can take action quickly. Shadow IT and unsanctioned devices have become common in modern networks. Manually keeping track of every endpoint and associated patches is impossible. You need a simple tool that immediately provides full visibility of your infrastructure and flags critical patches. Automox provides a cloud-based patching solution with full visibility across Windows, Mac, Linux and 3rd party software applications. You’ll see real time patch status of each workstation and server from a single dashboard and be able to patch immediately.

Automation of Patch Application: Many solutions can show you what’s wrong, but remediating still ends up being a manual process. To reduce patching time and lower your risk of attack, you need a solution that can also take action to remediate at your request. Automox’s policy engine allows you to patch by group, by individual policy, at any given moment (when necessary), or as part of your existing workflow. In addition to showing you what needs to be done, you can schedule when you want patches to apply without any manual intervention. This includes Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems, as well as 3rd party software.

Control Over Software Deployment and Patching Workflow: Some legacy patch management tools provide automatic patch deployment, but don’t always allow for control over how or when patches are applied, or manage what software can be installed by employees. This can lead to the patching solutions being underutilized due to a lack of confidence in the automation. What you need is full control over how your patching solution operates. You want a solution that allows you to manage approved software, maintain compliance, deploy or blacklist specific software, and require testing for certain patches – to avoid an inadvertent system outage. Automox provides this level of flexibility, allowing IT departments to use an automated patching solution without worrying about unintended consequences. Automox also allows for remote software deployment, providing companies with one all-encompassing patching and software deployment tool.

A modern cloud based solution can have you up to date with infrastructure patching in less than an hour (outside of patches you want to test). To try Automox as your patching system of record, sign up for our 15 day free trial. You’ll get access to the full platform with no endpoint limits. And you can keep your credit card in your wallet, we don’t need it.

 

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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