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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Maintain current, detailed records of the software and hardware in your environment.
Perform essential reboots to complete updates.
Set deployment notifications via email, Slack, or Microsoft Teams.
Use prebuilt packages or organize custom collections to monitor which devices have outdated software. Then, target them for updates.
Automate tasks by flexing your PowerShell (.ps1), Visual Basic (.vbs), registry file (.reg), or batch file (.bat)skills.
Get rid of outdated or unused apps, like Adobe Flash, to enhance your security posture.
Enjoy superior technical support
Get help from trained experts to navigate unforeseen challenges in your deployment process.
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
PDQ vs. leading competitors
PDQ's patch management software
Automated patch management features
Scalable per-admin pricing
Extensive ready-to-deploy Package Library
Custom script deployment
Integrated patch & inventory management
Easy setup and use
Comprehensive knowledge base
Support from sysadmins
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
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.
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
Mark your calendar for Patch Tuesday when Windows patches are typically released
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.
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:
Ease of use
Supported systems and third-party applications
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.