What is patch management process?
Patch management process includes maintaining, managing, and securing the operating system (OS) and existing software applications (including 3rd party) running on a computer. The term is generally used when this process is to be regulated for a group of computers connected through a network. In simple terms, patches are code changes (bug fixes, vulnerability fixes, new features, etc.). released by all vendors such as Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, Java and more which enables the systems and applications to run efficiently and remain secured. These patches can be deployed manually but the whole process becomes cumbersome once the number of devices starts to increase in an organization. The scariest part of neglecting patch management is that unpatched devices could be used as an entry point for injecting malicious software or viruses which can bring down the whole network and cause interruption in business activities. Hence a special tool for handling patch management is necessary for any organization.
Did you know that in the last two years, 48 percent of companies have experienced a data breach ? Of these, the majority said they were breached because of a vulnerability—for which a patch was already available. Cyberattacks like WannaCry and Petya affected hundreds of thousands of computers and caused losses worth millions of dollars. With Desktop Central MSP you can avoid these common types of data breaches by automating patch deployment across all your clients.
How to choose the right patch management solution?
Understanding the need for patch management is one thing, whereas trying to choose the best patch management solution which fits your organization needs is a whole different problem on its own. Every organization, whether an SMB or an enterprise, is unique and has different needs. Some are located in a demilitarized (also known as DMZ) zone with bare to no internet connection due to security purposes, while for some the employees and their devices are spread across the world. A right patch management tool would be pliable enough to fit all your needs without sacrificing any of the important capabilities mentioned below:
- Apply patches across different operating devices such as Windows, Mac, and Linux.
- Supports heterogeneous endpoints such as laptops, desktops, servers, etc..
- Provides automated patch management process for all kinds of patches including a wide variety of 3rd party applications such as commercial, non-commercial, anti-virus, etc..
- Provides one-click reporting as well as the ability to customize the reports according to the user's needs.
- Integrates with other applications such as Professional Services Automation (PSA) tools, help desks, and more.
- Alerts automatically about critical vulnerabilities and provides a quick summary of the whole network.
- Provides pre- and post- patch deployment options.
- Is accessible through a mobile app for remote monitoring and patch management needs.
- Allows patch rollback mechanism
Desktop Central MSP's patch management process
ManageEngine Desktop Central MSP follows a complete and holistic six-step patch management process:
- Patch Synchronization: Information on all the patches are collected from vendor sites and is fed into the patch database located in ManageEngine's server. This patch database is then synchronized with your Desktop Central MSP server.
- Patch Detection: The next step involves identifying the devices with missing patches. Desktop Central MSP automatically scans the computers in your network to detect the missing patches.
- Download: All missing patches are downloaded from vendor sites. This includes security updates, non-security updates, service packs, rollups, optional updates, and feature packs.
- Test and approve: Deploying untested patches in a production environment can be risky as some patches and updates may cause post-deployment problems like compatibility issues. The downloaded patches are first tested in non-production machines and are approved only if they cause no issues post-deployment.
- Deployment: With flexible deployment policies, you can not only select the deployment window but create patching policies as well. This patch management policy provides access to multiple deployment settings to help you decide when and how to deploy a patch.
- Report: After successful deployment, reports are automatically generated and the information is sent to the server. Reports can be easily customized to filter data and results can be downloaded and shared in multiple formats.
Want new patches to be dispatched every Patch Tuesday? No problem. Want to test your patches before rolling them out? You got it. Want to roll back patches, decline them on legacy systems, or track system health statuses? We've got your back. Desktop Central can fulfil both your need for a set-and-forget solution or a highly granular and customisable patch deployment tool. With support for over 850 first and third-party applications, you can now patch all endpoints whether they're running on Windows, macOS, or Linux.
Desktop Central MSP Patch Management Overview
- Automatic system discovery through Active Directory
- Completely automated patch management solution
- Supports deploying patches to both Microsoft and third-party applications.
- Automatically sequences the patches and handles patch interdependencies.
- Deploy service packs to OS and applications.
- Supports anti-virus definition updates.
- Provides the ability to exclude specific patches/applications from being patched.
- Supports defining health policies to determine the vulnerability status of the computers.
- Alerts on specific events.
- Customisable patch reports.
Supported OS and Applications
- Windows XP Professional
- Windows Server 2003
- Windows Vista
- Windows Server 2008
- Windows 7
- Windows Server 2008 R2
- Windows 8
- Windows Server 2012
- Windows 8.1
- Windows Server 2012 R2
- Windows 10
- Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSB
- Windows Server 2012 R2 Server Standard (evaluation installation) Edition (x64)
- Windows Server 2016 (View Complete List)