Patch management has become so critical in the IT landscape that it’s now a must-have security solution in enterprises. When you utilize effective patch management, you’ll be able to eliminate application vulnerabilities and the security threats that arise from them. Today, IT admins are looking for ways to make software patching more efficient and error free. This can be achieved by implementing centralized and automated solutions. Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits of automating patch management.
#1 Enhance Endpoint Security
Automating patch management allows you to be more efficient because it allows you to instantly and uniformly patch all the systems in your IT infrastructure. With this approach, you’ll be able to schedule timely patch deployments to multiple systems at the same time and keep them protected against critical vulnerabilities. You can schedule automated patch deployment to all your vulnerable systems as soon as a security update, bug fix, or a newer application version is released. In addition, patch management automation allows you to:
- Propagate software updates to target systems uniformly
- Update vulnerable systems with security updates
Timely updates of security patches will reduce the risk of exposing systems to attacks like security breaches, and data loss.
#2 Eliminate Manual Errors
When you combine the diverse nature of the IT infrastructure and the application portfolio, complexity of system configurations, and all the various enterprise policies and procedures, it's clear to see that there's a good chance a manual software patching approach will result in errors.
Manual software patch errors can occur because of:
- Skipping patching a system
- Missing a failed update notification from a patched system
- Pushing a wrong version of the software update
When you implement an automated approach to patch management, you can rest assured that all these manual errors can be avoided. You’ll also be able to schedule updates based on whichever systems you want to update, whichever patches you want updates to, and at whichever time of the day, week, or month you want the patch to occur.
#3 Improve IT Productivity
Patch management is a tedious process. You have to manually analyze, prepare, test and deploy software updates to the required endpoint nodes. It’s exhausting to even think about. This obviously consumes a lot a time and effort for IT admins.
Automated patch management simplifies a ton of steps in the enterprise patch management process—from research, to scheduling, deployment, and reporting—saving you hours of time and effort. In addition to productivity, automated patching also frees up technical resources for other mission-critical IT tasks.
#4 Simplify Compliance Reporting
Automating patch management also means automating and scheduling patch reporting to notify patch status before and after each patch deployment. Patch reports are key resources to support compliance and IT audits. Automating compliance reporting will help you get:
- Automatic reports of failed updates
- Granular visibility into patched and unpatched software
How SolarWinds Patch Manager Can Help
SolarWinds Patch Manager’s centralized and automated approach to patch management helps you keep your IT assets updated with the latest security and vulnerability patches. The features built in to Patch Manager allow you to:
- Schedule updates to occur when convenient, including monthly, specific days, or calendar events
- Force real-time download and install of updates from the Windows® Update Server to help with time sensitive patches
- Dynamically choose computers to be updated based on Active Directory® Domain, Organizational Unit membership, WSUS computer group membership, computer role, computer last contact time, and more
- Quickly choose which patches to implement based on date released or other criteria
- Schedule automated reports on patch status and compliance
From a single, central intuitive console, Patch Manager allows you to update all your workstations, servers, and VMs with the latest application patches and keep them secure from endpoint vulnerabilities.