We all have this vague notion in the back of our minds that patch management and software updates are something pretty important, but most of us probably don’t realize just how important it actually is for the security of our computer networks. Believe it or not, around 80% of all attacks on business networks can be traced back to out of date software which has not been patched to secure known vulnerabilities and bugs. One of the main reasons why people do not keep on top of their updates is that it can be time consuming and that is why automated patch management is becoming increasingly popular. Let’s take a look at it in a little more detail.
What Is Automated Patch Management?
In the most simple of terms, automated patch management involves using a software program to keep all of the computers on a network updated with the latest security patches and software updates. Instead of someone having to manually download and install these updates individually on each computer, the automated software will allow you to manage patches easily by monitoring all of the computers on the network and deploying patches automatically whenever they are required. The software can be used to schedule updates at convenient times so as not to interfere with day to day work – for example, an office based business could choose to have patches deployed during the night when staff are not in the office using the computers.
What Are The Benefits Associated With Patch Management Software?
There are many benefits that come along with using automated patch management which encourages a growing number of businesses to start using this type of software. One of the biggest benefits is of course security. The most common reason for vendors to release patch updates is to address security issues that could potentially be exploited by malicious software and viruses. This means that it is very important for these patches to be deployed in a timely fashion otherwise the network will be left vulnerable. Using an automated system is the best way to make sure that there is no delay in deploying security updates which results in a network which is far more secure.
Another of the main reasons for choosing automated patch management is that it can help to boost productivity not just in the IT department, but company-wide. When the network is kept up to date there is less chance of bugs and issues occurring and preventing staff from carrying out their work. This will allow them to work more efficiently and productively. Similarly, when the IT department is not having to manually install patches and updates on a large number of computers – which can in itself be a full time task – they are free to work on other aspects of the job. As noted above, automated patch management can be used to schedule the deployment of patches during non-working hours which is going to stop employees from experiencing downtime while their computer is updated.
Compliance is another big area where automated patch management comes into its own. There are an increasing number of laws and regulations applied to certain industries which mean that companies within those industries must be up to date on certain things, especially when it comes to privacy and data protection. Using an automated patch management system can help to make sure that there is no delay in installing these updates, thus making sure that the network is fully compliant.
These are just a few of the benefits that are associated with using an automated patch management system to maintain your computer network, but they are probably the most important ones. Patch management is highly under rated and more businesses need to take some time to consider how they handle it if they are to maintain a secure and efficient network for their company.