Patch management is an essential part of electronic security for any business, but it is also a tedious and repetitive task. The more computers there are on your network the more complex it becomes to keep all of them up to date and secure. Even for a mid sized business patch management can be a full time task for an employee and for some this is just not affordable. Even larger businesses are not keen to dedicate a staff member to the task. However, the good news is that with the help of automated patch management software the entire process can be streamlined and made so much more efficient. Let’s look at some of the benefits that are associated with using an automated patch management solution.
Security is probably the key benefit that comes with automating patch management. The main reason for the various patches and updates that are released by software vendors is for closing up vulnerabilities in the software in order to stop them being exploited by malicious groups and/or individuals who are looking to damage your network or steal sensitive information from you. When you apply these patches in a timely manner you are making sure that your system remains protected against attack. Without an automated system you may find that updates become a low priority on your to do list and may even get ignored completely – until it is too late! However, when you have the process automated it becomes easy to deploy the updates network-wide with the click of a mouse!
That brings us nicely to the next point – enhanced productivity. As noted above, manual patch management can be a long and tedious process which ties up not only the employee installing the updates, but also interrupts other staff who need to surrender their computer to the IT department while updates are performed. However, when you make use of an automated patch management solution you can deploy the updates remotely from one computer across the entire network simultaneously. You will even be able to remotely boot-up network PCs afterwards to complete the installation process. It is even possible to schedule this to happen outside of normal working hours so that it does not interrupt the day to day operation of your business. Not only is this going to help cut down on the amount of time the updates themselves take, but it is also going to reduce the amount of downtime experienced by some of the other employees. This all adds up to increased productivity company wide.
Another important factor when it comes to patch management is compliance. There are an ever increasing number of laws and regulations that businesses are required to comply with, especially where sensitive data such as credit card information or personal details. Those working in the finance or healthcare industries in particular are going to be especially affected by compliance issues. One of the requirements with such regulations is that all computer systems are properly patched and up to date so that they are not subject to known security vulnerabilities. Failure to keep up with this can result in severe consequences including legal and financial penalties. Using an automated patch management system is going to make it so much easier for you to maintain compliance thus ensuring that you are not putting your business at risk of penalties from governing bodies and regulators.
These are just a few of the many ways in which an automated patch management system can benefit your business, but they are among the most important. This is certainly something that every business should consider.