Patch management is the process of managing patches for operating systems and applications that require them. This could be done manually on a few computers.
This can lead to a lot of errors. What if you forget about applying a patch? Did you forget a computer? Worse, how do you report on patching with this method to ensure that all machines are up-to-date? This post will discuss the reasons tools are necessary to ensure patching.
Why is Patch Management Important
It is easy to ask: What is the importance and value of patch management? Because many of our operating systems have vulnerabilities, patching is essential. This is not an intentional problem and often occurs because of a coding mistake or bug. We can use patch management tools to monitor the availability of patches and aid in the patching process so that all patches are installed. This is crucial for companies that need to comply with regulatory compliance requirements such as PCI, HIPAA, or SOX. Auditors will request compliance reports.
How to choose the right patch management tool
Sometimes choosing the right patch management tool is more art than science. This is why it is important to have a plan for managing your patch management tools. Most people prefer an iterative approach where tools are tested and then picked. It is best to keep your eyes on at least two tools before making a decision. Organizations often choose the first tool they test out, as they don’t have the time or resources for further research. Many years later, the question is raised as to why the tool was chosen in the first instance. It didn’t meet all their business needs.
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It sounds simple enough, but it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. It is easy to select a few top tools and filter them using filters such as budget or supported platforms to ensure they are compatible with your needs and budget. To compare patch management software, make sure you have a list of all your patch management needs. You might find that one tool does not meet all your needs, but you can make sure you are getting the right one for you.
The most important criteria to ensure that your environment is supported is the support of an operating system. Many tools can also patch applications. Each business must decide for themselves what level of patching they need and the extent of that patching. It might be worthwhile to choose a cross-platform patch management tool.
Top 6 Patch Management Tools
You may need cloud-based patch management if you have the infrastructure to host a patch server. Some businesses may prefer to host in a cloud while others may prefer to host on prem. However, it is an important decision. Do you have enough bandwidth to allow for communication and patch downloads if you are using a cloud-based solution?
SolarWinds Patch Manager
SolarWinds should be a well-known tool. It is a well-known monitoring and patch management tool. It has received a lot of negative press recently so people may not be aware of its existence. The attack was actually quite large and shows the software’s popularity.
SolarWinds Patch Manager is a great tool. It integrates with WSUS, SCCM and other tools. It also provides patch management compliance reporting, which is a great feature for those who are under regulatory compliance and need proof via audit that patching has been completed and in order.
ManageEngine Patch Manager Plus
ManageEngine is a set of tools that many people may not have heard of, but have been around for a while.