A Beginner’s Guide to Patch Management

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Patch management is a very important element of systems management for any computer network. It involves downloading and installing the latest patches and updates for software, hardware and peripherals that are connected to the network in order to make sure that everything is up to date and working as it should be. Installing those updates is incredibly important, but it is also a huge amount of work and the bigger the network, the more work it entails. This often leads to IT departments putting things off which is when problems are going to start happening! Let’s take a closer look at patch management and how to make it easier to handle.

What is a Patch?

A patch or software update is pretty much a temporary fix to smooth out a bug or glitch, or perhaps to close up a security vulnerability. Patches are small code changes that are intended as a kind of a make do fix until a new version of the software is released. Although patches are designed to help with certain issues, often there can be compatibility issues so in the case of non-critical updates it is necessary to test the patch before deploying it to the entire network. This can make it fairly arduous task for any IT department. This is why a growing number of companies are turning to automated patch management.

What is Automated Patch Management?

In order to streamline the process, many companies are using automated patch management software. You can check out a great example of this type of software by visiting BatchPatch.com. These software applications can make staying on top of patch management far easier since a single IT technician is able to deploy patch updates to an entire network simultaneously. The software is also able to monitor the network in order to discover when new patches are released. In order to ensure that there is no down time for employees while their computers are updated, technicians can use the patch management software to schedule patch deployment with normal working hours. This helps to boost productivity and is much more convenient.

Key Benefits of Automating Patch Management

Aside from the convenience of having software to manage the bulk of the work when it comes to patch management, there are also a number of other benefits that can be enjoyed when you choose to automate the process. Perhaps the most important benefit is the increased level of security that your computer network could have when you are using patch management software. Security updates will be installed uniformly across your entire network in a timely fashion which is going to make it far less vulnerable to the growing number of security threats that are out there. A large proportion of patches and updates are to close security loopholes and vulnerabilities.

Another benefit of choosing to take advantage of patch management software is that it eliminates the risk of human error. Patch management can get pretty complex, so there is always a chance that a technician will make mistakes if performing the task manually. A patch could get skipped or the wrong version of a software update might be deployed. However, using an automated program eliminates, or at the very least reduces these types of errors. It also boosts productivity in the IT department since less time is spent manually downloading, testing and deploying patches. This frees technicians up to work on other IT tasks within the company.

Patch management is a critical part of any computer network and it is not something to be taken lightly. Taking advantage of patch management software is going to make the entire process far more manageable.