You can consider all software to be works in progress and can expect them to contain bugs. Vendors and enterprises issue software patches to fix these bugs; however, since they are issued as a response to newly identified problems and fresh vulnerabilities, their release does not always follow a predictable outcome or management tactic.
Every year, more than 60 percent of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) fall victim to hackers. Poorly managed software updates are prone to malware, such as viruses, that are capable of comprising personal data and networks; the resulting data leakage and exfiltration could expose your business to privacy breaches. To avoid having your system be infiltrated by hackers, it important to keep your systems up-to-date with patching and software updates. You can avoid all types of potential risks by keeping your IT infrastructure up-to-date, patched, and by ensuring that it follows standard practices. Instead of manually patching your devices, work stations, applications, and worrying about your network’s privacy and security, you can simply invest in a good patch management software.
Patch management software is designed to help IT teams and departments in the management and deployment of software patches. In this article, we will discuss what patch management software is and its benefits; we will also mention the 5 best patch management software that are available in the market right now.
What is Patch Management Software?
Software patching is perhaps one of the prime operations required to keep a company’s IT department safe and running. Patching is a coding process that identifies and repairs any vulnerability in computer applications or software. New patches can fix bugs and security flaws, thus helping you get more features and added security.
Patch management refers to a process that manages computer networks by continuously deploying missing patches to keep computer networks up to date. It helps in acquiring, testing, and installing multiple patches on existing software and tools on a computer, allowing computer systems to stay updated on existing patches and identifying which patches are appropriate. Patch management software makes patch management easy and convenient.
Patch management software helps simplify and automate various aspects of the patch management and deployment process; it also addresses patch management for several IT components such as individual endpoints, computer applications, and servers.
Benefits of Using Patch Management Software
Patch management is a complicated and guileful business. Keeping track of hundreds of devices all connected to one network along with their software and firmware requires a lot of manpower and can be rather time-consuming. Patch management software simplifies and speeds up these processes; such software is a key benefactor to security and performance, making them worth consideration.
A patch management tool will allow you to update and manage multiple devices from a single platform, meaning that you are not required to routinely update your device manually – this effectively saves time and resources and significantly reduces the chances of any human errors, while minimizing any possible risks for your device.
We have listed some of the major benefits of using patch management software below:
· Improved IT Security
Patch management software improves IT security across endpoints, internal networks, and databases – this is one of the most prominent features of patch management software. It is important to note that patch management software does not remove the need for IT security software, but it can boost its effectiveness. This software can effectively protect your network and private data against malware such as viruses.
· Improved System Stability
Patches not only fix security vulnerabilities and bugs, but they are also capable of restoring functionality, preventing errors, and ensuring that IT production tools always run at full capacity. All IT users can benefit from improved system stability.
The manual deployment and management of patches can be quite time-consuming. Patch management software saves time by minimizing the need for lengthy updates, re-installations, and reduces damage control requirements and protocols following malware infections.
5 Best Patch Management Software for 2020
Due to the variations in IT between company size-tiers and verticals, patch management software is available in several shapes and sizes. It is quite common for enterprises with multiple IT teams to use different patch management software for different teams.
Good patch management software is usually highly fragmented and complex and, due to the myriad of choices available in the market, it can be hard to choose the right software for your specific needs. We have listed 5 of the best patch management software that you can find in the market right now, along with their description and features, so that you are able to choose the right software for your organization.
1. SolarWinds Patch Manager
SolarWinds Patch Manager automates patching and reporting processes for users. It helps keep computer servers and work stations secure and updated. This manager is a Windows patch management tool that integrates with SCCM, offline devices, virtual machines, and third-party apps by using industry-tested and ready-to-run packages; this allows you to synchronize patches with your schedule and keep a track of new patch availability. It effectively alleviates any vulnerability and reduces the potential for risks to provide maximum security.
SolarWinds Patch Manager also allows you to run diagnostics through the Windows Update Agent, quickly identifying any patch issues that require an update and mitigating the possibility of broken patches or existing issues regarding the performance and security of your devices. Patch compliance reports provide you with details on patch status and the status of regulatory requirements to be delivered to team members. The Patch Manager dashboard allows you to view recent and missing patches to provide you with a clear overview of zones that need to be addressed.
The tool boasts incredible automated capabilities, including automated patches and automated reporting, which save time and boost productivity. This software is widely popular amongst IT departments and beats other patch management software due to its potential capabilities and being so user-friendly.
2. GFI LanGuard
GFI LanGuard is able to deal with application security, vulnerability management, and patch management, and is compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux devices. The software primarily focuses on identifying and removing any sort of vulnerability, utilizing up to 60,000 vulnerability assessments to keep your device up-to-date.
GFI LanGuard allows you to identify user system information, open ports, services, and share directions. It can also be integrated with up to 4000 security tools and applications, such as anti-spyware and anti-virus. The manager makes it easy to identify vulnerabilities and offers formatted reports that are automated and demonstrate compliance across a series of requirements for PCI DSS, SOX, HIPAA, and CoCo.
The patch manager offers an automated patching feature for all major web browsers such as Google Chrome, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox, and its remarkable network auditing capabilities will provide you with a comprehensive view of the network. LanGuard automatically deploys patches, saving you a lot of time and effort. With this software, you will have incredible control over any patch instalments. Moreover, the patch rollback function can be used in case any issues or vulnerabilities are detected.
LanGuard is a highly functional patch management software that has so much to offer, including features and functions such as allowing you to export reports to various formats, work in virtual environments, and providing security audits. It prioritizes patch management and usage to boost application performance.
3. Paessler PRTG Network Monitor
Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is a network monitoring tool that offers patch management utilities. It scans for Windows patches and allows you to view any update issues via the dashboard. The dashboard is basic but dynamic, as it has a consistent colour scheme to create a nice environment for the interpretation of data. The dashboard also has dials and charts that are spaced to prevent cluttering. In general, this tool makes data interpretation easy and efficient.
Similar to SolarWinds, PRTG Network Monitor is highly automated and reduces the need for any manual labour. One of its most noteworthy features is its notifying capability which sends real-time updates to the desired communication platform. The alerts are fast in response, automated, and customizable, therefore allowing you to choose when to receive notifications.
The PRTG Network Monitor is unique due to the sensor-based monitoring approach it adapts, which includes a multitude of sensors, allowing you to select what you want to measure and essentially making the experience fully versatile. Even though it is a great monitoring tool, if you are looking for a program that focuses primarily on patch management and does not have any extra features, you might want to opt for another software from our list.
4. ManageEngine Patch Manager Plus
The ManageEngine Patch Manager Plus stands out amongst third-party patching tools, supporting over 500 updates across more than 300 applications. It is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux devices.
The Patch Manager Plus adopts a four-pronged approach for patch management: Detect, Test, Deploy, and Report. It automatically scans endpoints and detects the absence of any patches on your computer, allowing you to keep your systems updated and secure from any online malicious threats. Even better, Patch Manager Plus can test and deploy patches even before you install it, enabling it to identify and mitigate security risks. The dynamic reporting feature conducts audits and generates reports while providing maximum control and visibility.
This incredibly versatile tool can manage desktop devices, virtual machines, and servers, and its super convenient dashboard allows you to manage everything; it also offers several choices of views, including patch view, all computer view, and detailed view. The deployment process is simple: schedule it after setting it up and it will automatically update and deploy. The reports can also be generated on the network, providing you with all the information you need.
The Patch Manager Plus by ManageEngine is available in two different versions: Professional and Enterprise, so you can choose whichever suits your needs.
5. ITarian Patch Manager
ITarian Patch Manager is the best option when it comes to Ubuntu Patch Management software. It is a free open-source tool that boasts a wide array of features and is available for download free of any charges. The ITarian Patch Manager is compatible with Windows and can work on Windows XP, Windows 200, Windows XP Gold, Windows Vista, and several other versions.
This highly versatile tool also supports third-party patches and its simple user-friendly design covers all the basic requirements of patch management processes. It identifies endpoints that contain vulnerabilities, creates policies to automatically generate updates for targeted endpoint groups, provides remote deployment of system updates for both Windows and Linux devices, and finally, it allows users to view statistics within the dashboard. The patch manager offers access to ITarian’s Service Desk, ITarian Mobile, Mobile Management, Network Assessment, Remote Monitoring and Management, and Quote Management software.
The ITarian Patch Manager includes features like Change Management, Efficient Deployment, Compliance, Testing, and Audit and Assessment. It allows you to prioritize deployment based on the severity and type, and then schedule automatic updates by time, computer, and user-defined network of computers – all free of cost. You can choose to pay for custom modules such as cloud-based backup. It is particularly ideal for small to medium-sized businesses.
There is a wide range of patch management software available in the market now, and your choice depends on your network’s size, budget, and requirements. SolarWinds Patch Manager is the best option in terms of its usage and functionality for Windows patch management, combining user-friendliness and versatility with many prominent and remarkable features; this highly advanced tool integrates smoothly with other SolarWinds products and devices.
The ManageEngine Patch Manager Plus is best suited for Linux users and organizations. It is a finely designed tool that includes fantastic features that make patch management easier than ever.
If you can’t afford to pay for patch management software, then the ITarian Patch Manager is for you; it’s a free, open-source tool that supports Windows, Ubuntu, and Linux.
We hope this article helps you choose the right security patch management software for your business.