TMCnet Feature
October 02, 2018

Five Core Considerations for Evaluating Patch Management Software



Data security has become a critical factor in protecting the technological environment of any company. In the past, many corporate IT teams did need to perform security functions beyond routine or annual maintenance. With current advances in technology, however, data security and server protection have become some of the most essential components of computer application lifecycle management (ALM).



Unfortunately, many organizations have not caught up with the necessity of using maintenance software. For example, a study published in 2017 found that only one-third of American businesses had acceptable security protection. This is a problem because outdated security measures and other vulnerabilities can expose your IT infrastructure to hackers, breaches, and other harmful infiltration.

Furthermore, the recent changes in cybersecurity mean that the traditional methods do not work anymore. For example, the standard practice of manually applying patches on a case-by-case basis creates a clumsy back-end environment and produces mixed results. This "bandage" approach can clear up problems in one operating system, but it overlook vulnerabilities in other sections of the company. Given the breakneck pace of technological development, security breaches can do irreparable damage if allowed to go unchecked.

Fortunately, patch management software can protect your property from intrusion and lapses in security. For example, programs like SysAid patch management software provide timely and competitive updates for your operating system. In addition to these safeguards, well-designed patch software integrates directly within your system to ensure better stability and enables your equipment to run at full capacity.

When choosing patch software, there are important traits to keep in mind. The most advanced asset-management software conducts multi-level scans, identifies security threats, and offers root-cause analysis and custom remediation solutions. For example, a competent patch management system provides quarterly scans to assess exploitability and details a custom correction strategy for immediate implementation. These management programs can also document all upgrades and provide progress reports as needed for your records.

In addition to these traits, the best patch software provides metrics to identify port or location of any security breach and other vulnerable hosts or routers within the company. Finally, the scalable nature of such management programs means that your company can keep up with accelerated pace of the new software apps constantly added to business in the current era.

Five Core Considerations for Evaluating Patch System Software

1. Solid track record that shows success in implementing patch software and provides custom integration options. An ideal management software program acts as an intermediary between your operating system and the OEM patch source. In this way, it can patch issues both on-premise and within the IT cloud environment. A competent management system also monitors the release of software patches from the vendor and efficiently dispatches the necessary upgrades for deployment within your company.

2. Post-scan assessment analyses (such as formal summary reports) that document the threats identified and the measures taken to remove the risks. Depending on the jurisdiction, some regulations require written data security reports (and issue punitive action if a company does not implement security recommendations). Either way, it is important to keep these patch catalogs for your records. The documentation should show the steps taken to remove the risk from individual operating systems as well as underlying corporate infrastructure.

3. Adaptable patch software that supports a broad range of applications and platforms. For example, SysAid software supports all Microsoft products, Apple iTunes, Adobe (News - Alert) Flash, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Skype, Java, RealPlayer, and a host of other third-party applications. The best patch software is also compatible with a range of company hardware such as network printers, switches, and routers in order to prevent any hidden vulnerabilities stored in these areas.

4. Automated, configurable, and scalable management system that you can customize to fit business needs. For example, the best management program can patch a variety of individual endpoints, service remote locations, and perform bug fixes in third-party apps that your company may need later. It should be able to quickly and systematically all of the operating systems in your company and their related applications.

5. Ability to perform inclusive tasks such as inventorying and queuing the network, applying patches to operating systems and machines, validating the patch installation, and providing performance reports. In addition, patch software should be able to identify and replace missing or faulty patches.

Characteristics of Best-Practice Patch System Software

  • Information and Data Security - Not only do you need to protect company data on the corporate level, but you also need to protect private client information. A solid and consistent patch system provides this oversight and helps shield data from unauthorized intruders.
     
  • Professional Scheduling - Sudden lapses in security often force businesses to undergo emergency patch setup. This downtime can cause a business to lose money and resources as clientele miss out on services. A professional patch system can evaluate the best downtime to keep your business running efficiently.
     
  • Consistent Testing - With the various demands of business, it is easy to allow security risks to go undetected. Dispatching expert patch software results in timely testing to ensure the best protection for your IT infrastructure. For example, expert patch software can assess the effectiveness of an existing authentication method and correct glitches on the spot.
     
  • Skilled Deployment and Functionality - Well-crafted patch software updates your system on a mass scale to ensure consistent quality. For this reason, the most efficient patch systems are automated to test, run, and install code into the entire IT infrastructure.
     
  • Assessment and Feedback - The best patch software not only detects and fixes security risks, but it also provides the opportunity to evaluate problems and issue feedback for improvement prior to the next deployment.
     
  • Industry Risk and Regulation Compliance - Some organizations may be in high-risk fields (such as national security) and require tightened security measures. Others may be in highly regulated industries (such as the medical field) and need greater security controls to protect sensitive information. Either way, top-grade patch systems provide the framework needed to help these businesses run smoothly.

In the age of rampant innovation, data breaches have become also commonplace in the IT world. Fortunately, the right patch software can protect your operating systems and servers from infiltration and exploitation. By choosing automated software that can patch and configure your IT systems on a mass scale, you can always stay one step ahead of the process and protect your business.

About the Author:

 M Umair is a technology writer and author of site Chamberofcommerce.com 



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