One of the top challenges facing companies today is configuring an effective and efficient cybersecurity strategy. The digital landscape is constantly evolving, and the on-premise solutions of yore leave much to be desired. On-premise patching protocols can work well for internal patch deployment, but some of these solutions may leave your endpoints in the dark. While many on-premise solutions can reach endpoints, they often lack desirable features that make patching far more streamlined. Endpoint visibility is one such feature. Having the ability to see where your patches have been successful, and where they've failed, is essential for an efficient cybersecurity strategy. On-premise solutions can also be extremely limited when it comes to handling multiple operating systems.
We've all felt the pain of on-prem solutions that make the process of patching more cumbersome than it needs to be – and it's an even bigger challenge when all of an organization's endpoints may not even be visible. And as your network grows and becomes more complex, the inefficiency of on-premise solutions becomes more problematic.
This on-premise security complexity can kill your organization's cybersecurity efficiency and cripple your effectiveness against threats. Past solutions for on-premise patch management, like WSUS, SCCM and RMM, lack support for hybrid infrastructures. As more and more of your business infrastructure expands into the cloud, cross-platform support is necessary to ensure your network is secure. Your cybersecurity practices need to be as efficient and effective as possible. Automated, cloud-native solutions offer a unique opportunity for organizations looking to streamline and strengthen their cybersecurity strategy.
The pain of on-premise patch management solutions
There is no shortage of complaints about on-premise patching solutions. WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) is typically the first choice for companies looking to start “automating” patching. While it's better than going through the process of patching manually, traditional WSUS deployment is not enough to address the needs of an increasingly cloud-integrated infrastructure.
In addition to the fact that WSUS lacks many features that IT professionals need, it is further crippled by the fact that it only supports Windows devices. Any devices on your network running other OS platforms will need their own management systems – as if running WSUS by itself isn't troublesome enough already.
After WSUS, we have SCCM (Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager). SCCM relies on WSUS's patching system in order to check for and deploy updates, but it offers additional features and gives users control over how and when patches are applied. While this can make it a more attractive option than WSUS, SCCM has some significant drawbacks. Specifically, SCCM is not a singular solution that will patch across all devices, OSs, and third-party applications. What this means is that SCCM is not really effective for patching anything but Windows.
While alternative OSs, such as macOS and Linux, can be managed through SCCM, it's a convoluted process that still requires a Windows Server OS to run. SCCM's functionality is also reduced when used for non-Windows systems – and forget about patching for third-party applications. While SCCM has more support for third-party apps than WSUS, it's still very limited and is a major source of frustration for IT managers. SCCM is also prohibitively expensive to acquire and run.
Then there's RMM (remote monitoring and management), which is burdened by a lack of basic patch management functionality and technical problems. The internet is full of people lamenting the issues caused by their RMM agent software.
Patch management, but better
On-premise patch management solutions are dinosaurs; rife with compatibility issues, ineffective for managing endpoints, and lacking many of the desirable features boasted by cloud-native platforms. Business infrastructure is rapidly evolving, and these legacy options are not keeping up with the pace.
Hybrid infrastructures and a vast network of endpoints can lead to an overly complicated patch management process – if you continue to rely on legacy on-premise patch management systems.
Cloud-native Automox patch management makes the process of patching more efficient, and less arduous. For organizations looking to modernize their IT, cloud-native patching solutions are becoming an essential tool. And because these solutions don't require servers or on-going maintenance, cloud-based platforms are typically going to be far more cost-effective than on-premise options.
Across the board, cloud-native patch management platforms can help solve many of the complexities presented by legacy patch management solutions, making your cybersecurity efforts more efficient and less cumbersome.