Patch management software

The world is a dangerous place for computers with out-of-date applications, but patch management software helps protect your fleet. Patching Windows operating systems and third-party applications helps protect against known vulnerabilities and improve productivity. That’s where a patch management tool comes in. Windows patch management solutions update your software to keep your systems running smoothly and mitigate endpoint security risks.

Woman at a laptop computer
Woman at a laptop computer

What is patch management software? 

Patch management software refers to any solution that streamlines selecting, acquiring, and installing updates on large-scale computer networks. 

Software companies release patches and updates to address vulnerabilities, add functionality, and improve performance. If you only have a handful of computers in your environment, you might make do by installing each update manually. However, as your fleet grows, patching becomes more demanding. The best patch manager allows you to schedule deployments and target specific devices, updating dozens to thousands of machines in a fraction of the time.

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Must-have patch management features

Patch management software can make installations quick and easy. However, you need the most critical features to maximize the value of your solution.

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Get instant insights

Maintain current, detailed records of the software and hardware in your environment.

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Force reboots

Perform essential reboots to complete updates.

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Receive alerts

Set deployment notifications via email, Slack, or Microsoft Teams.

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Forget those late nights alone in the office. Schedule routine updates for off-hours so that they don’t interfere with your users’ workflow or your personal life.

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Leverage collections

Use prebuilt packages or organize custom collections to monitor which devices have outdated software. Then, target them for updates.

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Initiate deployments when an offline computer comes back online to target those hard-to-reach machines.

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Script commands

Automate tasks by flexing your PowerShell (.ps1), Visual Basic (.vbs), registry file (.reg), or batch file (.bat)skills.

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Remove apps

Get rid of outdated or unused apps, like Adobe Flash, to enhance your security posture.

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Document information on each device, software solution, deployment, patch status, and more.

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Enjoy superior technical support

Get help from trained experts to navigate unforeseen challenges in your deployment process.

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Take advantage of the Package Library

Silently install over 250 ready-to-deploy applications. Patch Windows, Google Chrome, and other popular solutions with just a few clicks.

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Queue failed deployments

Line them up and knock them down with automatic redeployment.

What are the benefits of patch management software?

The main benefits of patch management software are improved security, performance, and efficiency. Between installing each Google Chrome, Microsoft Office, Windows Server, and Windows update, keeping your software current is time consuming. Add in any number of other solutions, and it becomes exponentially more difficult. Security patches are particularly critical since they address known vulnerabilities that hackers scramble to exploit before businesses update their machines. Each uninstalled software patch presents an invaluable opportunity for cybercriminals. But the benefits of patch management software go beyond thwarting hackers:

  • Improve vulnerability management 

  • Reduce endpoint security vulnerabilities 

  • Enhance software performance 

  • Maintain regulatory patch compliance

  • Reduce the complexity of the deployment process 

  • Save the IT team’s time 

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PDQ vs. leading competitors

PDQ's patch management software

Leading competitors

Automated patch management features 

yes

yes

Scalable per-admin pricing 

yes

no

Extensive ready-to-deploy Package Library 

yes

no

Custom script deployment 

yes

no

Integrated patch & inventory management 

yes

no

Easy setup and use 

yes

no

Comprehensive knowledge base 

yes

no

Support from sysadmins 

yes

no

How do you incorporate patch management software?

A business can incorporate patch management software through careful planning. You should assess your needs and goals to implement measures that work for you. Since no two environments are identical, the software that works for another business may not be ideal for you. Consider the following criteria:

  • Cybersecurity and patching needs 

  • Unique network components and configurations 

  • Acceptable risks

  • Policies for handling uncommon situations (e.g., distributing out-of-band patches) 

  • Special departmental and user needs 

  • Processes for testing updates before widespread distribution

  • Patch deployment timeframes

  • Asset management approaches

While each environment is unique, virtually all businesses with patch management software aim to install patches quickly while minimizing interruptions for users. Focusing on achieving these goals within your constraints can help you get the most out of your patch management software.

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What are patch management best practices? 

Patch management best practices can help you avoid delays and keep your environment secure. Here are some of the best practices for optimizing your patch management software usage:

  • Inventory your systems 

  • Assess risk levels 

  • Deploy patches promptly  

  • Automate processes when possible 

  • Create a policy 

  • Stay informed

  • Mark your calendar for Patch Tuesday when Windows patches are typically released

  • Test updates  

  • Stay flexible 

  • Be transparent 

  • Maintain a software update schedule

  • Plan for exceptions

  • Use a high-quality software patch management solution

Implementing patch management software best practices in your environment can enhance your efficiency and effectiveness.

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How do you choose the right patch management software?

Selecting the best patch management solution for your business can save time, secure your environment, and make life easier for your IT team. To choose the best patch management software for your business, consider these factors:

  • Functionality 

  • Ease of use 

  • Supported systems and third-party applications

  • Reporting options 

  • Available support 

  • Prebuilt application or patch libraries (if any)

Once you’ve narrowed down your patch management software options, schedule a demo to see the solution you’re considering in action. Demos are a quick and easy way to explore the features, assess the ease of use, and ask any lingering questions.

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