Patch Management: Problems and Benefits
Software Update Management ExpertisePatch management is an essential and complicated process. Prompt and correctly managed patching maximizes security, regulatory compliance, uptime, and functionality. Sporadic patch management can cause security vulnerabilities, compatibility issues, sluggish or inconsistent responsiveness, excessive downtime, or loss of key functions. Patching entails more than occasional updates of an OS and apps for servers and endpoints. Firmware updates can be a critical for peripheral devices like printers and scanners, network appliances like switches and Wi-Fi APs, and IoT devices like sensors and robotics.

Patch Management Consultants

Progent's Patch Management services can cover IoT devices such as sensors and robotics

The patching task can pose a range of challenges that can differ for various environments. Assets that may require updating can be on-premises, in the cloud, mobile, or in the offices of remote workers. Networks may support any combination of Windows, Linux, Apple macOS, and Google operating systems and apps. Some updates can be implemented automatically and at virtually any scale with tools like Configuration Manager, Microsoft Intune, or Azure Update Management. Others must be implemented by hand. Patching for core systems must be timed to minimize business disruption. In certain mission-critical systems, updates must be carefully tested before being applied to production.

Progent's managed services for software and firmware patch management provide organizations of all sizes a flexible and cost-effective alternative for evaluating, validating, scheduling, applying, and documenting software and firmware updates to your dynamic IT network. In addition to maximizing the security and functionality of your information system, Progent's patch management programs free up time for your in-house IT team to focus on crucial initiatives that return top business value to your network.

Patch Management Experts

Patch management is a closed-loop activity critical to your risk management plan

Progent's Patch Management Activities
Progent offers standard and custom service programs for software and firmware patching. These services allow you to outsource some or all of your software update management tasks to an IT services firm with over 20 years of experience providing solution planning, implementation, and support to businesses of all sizes globally. Progent works in close conjunction with your IT managers to determine the scope of the services you need. Programs available from Progent for software update include:

  • Discover network resources: This can cover key platforms such as Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server, web-facing servers, desktops and mobile endpoints, security appliances like firewalls, and infrastructure appliances like switches and wireless access points.
  • Determine resources to be placed under management: Progent's experts will work with you to determine which of your IT assets you choose for continuing patch management services. Progent provides a selection of standard service programs that cover certain types of items and Progent can also provide specialized programs to accommodate your particular requirements.
  • Implement patch management tools: Progent is familiar with a wide range of patch installation platforms and patch tracking databases. Examples of utilities include Azure Update for cloud-hosted assets, System Center Configuration Manager for on-premises entities, Microsoft Intune for mobile computers, IT Glue for IT asset documentation, as well as an arsenal of modern anti-virus products. Combined, these products enable you to automate and monitor updates for network resources located in cloud environments, on-premises, on the move, at district offices, and in the residences of telecommuters.
  • Determine update currency and carry out risk assessment of uninstalled updates: For the most part, environments with up-to-date patching are more secure and dependable than those with sporadic patching. Still, occasionally software updates are hurried into production and carry the potential to disturb essential network processes by causing compatibility issues, system instability, or unfamiliar alterations to end-user experiences. Progent can help clients to assess which patches carry a risk to your company's IT environment, or which patches should be given a high priority because they defend against an imminent cybersecurity attack. Progent's background with patch management support can assist you to maintain a protected computer system without compromising productivity.
  • Create a patch management service program: Progent's group of consultants can assist in designing and managing a patch management program that aligns with your business needs. Progent can provide pre-defined and specialized software update management service programs and can help with programmatic as well as manual patching. Progent can handle mission-critical assets exclusively, all updateable assets, or somewhere in between.
  • Patch testing: Even the biggest networks including Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure have experienced major outages caused by updates that were insufficiently tested prior to being applied to live environments. For businesses with no room for downtime, Progent can help develop test environments that permit you to make sure that new updates will not cause stability problems for your network.
  • Rank and schedule updates: Progent can help you to decide which updates should be performed quickly and which can be safely delayed in order to reduce business interruption. Certain key industry standards, like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, require that the most critical cybersecurity updates be implemented within a defined time period.
  • Document update history and status: Progent's regular update management service programs include the creation of a centralized knowledge base for tracking the update level of every subscribed resource. This streamlines the task of finding where updates can be found and specifies patch release dates, release advisories, and other important information needed for a complete update management system.
  • Repair update problems: Patches to some core items like an operating system or application server can cause unforeseen compatibility or stability issues, especially with legacy or home-grown software or older devices. Progent has the scope of experience to assist you to understand and mitigate problems that may appear due to applying a patch.
Software Update Management for Network Appliances from Cisco and Other Vendors
Software and firmware updates are frequently released for network devices such as firewalls, routers, switches, and Wi-Fi APs. These updates usually are designed to harden cybersecurity, enhance features, or correct reliability problems. Managing patches for these infrastructure appliances can pose a challenge, particularly in mixed-vendor networks and systems that include a combination of on-site datacenters, at-home workers, regional offices, and cloud-hosted resources. Besides tracking and acquiring updates, network managers have to verify that network appliances have enough free disk space and that patches are loaded cleanly and operate properly.

Progent has delivered high-end help for Cisco networking appliances for more than twenty years and also offers technical guidance for products from other leading network companies including Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet, and CheckPoint. Progent's services for software update management can help you to consolidate your software update solution to include network appliances along with servers, endpoints, apps, and IoT devices.

Patch Management Services for Infrastructure Devices

Progent can provide software update management support for network infrastructure appliances from Cisco and other leading vendors

Progent's Standard and Specialized Patch Management Programs
Progent has developed a variety of regular patch management plans that include backup services, reporting, and documentation. Cost is determined by the class and quantity of entities enrolled. Extra services such as creating environments for initial software update testing are billed at time and material rates. Custom packages are also offered and typically handle unusual devices and/or apps.

PROACTIVE Server Patch Management

On Premises or Private Cloud Server:
  • ProSight Performance Monitoring
  • Critical Application Maintenance - Exchange, SQL, etc.
  • Scheduled Patching and Preventative Maintenance
  • License & Asset reporting and management
  • Managed Anti-Virus - Current AV system
  • Initiate Server backup once complete
  • Additional Support Billed at T&M Rates
  • AIX Scan - Active Directory and report yearly
  • IT Glue access control and asset documentation
Azure Cloud Servers Patch Management:
  • Compliance scan of all Windows and Linux servers
  • Update compliance assessment results for enabled machines
  • Scheduled Patching and Preventative Maintenance
  • License & Asset reporting and management
  • Managed Anti-Virus - Current AV system
  • Initiate Server backup once complete
  • Additional Support Billed at T&M Rates
  • IT Glue access control and asset documentation
Onsite or Virtual Workstation:
  • ProSight Availability Monitoring
  • OS & 3rd Party Patch Management
  • Scheduled Preventative Maintenance
  • Managed Anti-Virus - current AV system
  • Hosted Anti-Spam - Spam Hero
  • Additional Support Billed at T&M Rates
  • IT Glue access control and asset documentation
BASIC Server Patch Management

Managed Patch both Physical and Virtual Servers: On Premises or Virtual Workstation Patch Management: Server or Workstation Security Service-Level Agreement (SLA) - Add on service

Security Critical Patches - applied within 48 hours of Progent being notified - invoiced only when needed

PROACTIVE Network Device Patching

Internet Facing Hardware - Managed Devices (Security appliances, firewalls, routers): Internal Network Hardware - Managed devices (wireless controllers, Wi-Fi access points, switches): Network Device Security Service-Level Agreement - Add-on service

Security Critical Patches - applied within 48 hours of Progent being notified - invoiced only when needed

Original Patching Process Extra Costs:
First-time patching will have an extra cost for each server or network device to provide for capture and documentation of current patch level as well as any other information required for effectively providing the patching services as described previously. If many updates are necessary that demand additional work for the first-time patching, Progent will present any cost estimates beyond the normal update cost.

Other Services Offered:

Download Progent's Patch Management Services Datasheet
For a datasheet describing Progent Software Update Managed Services, select:
Progent Patch Management Services Datasheet. (PDF - 330 KB)

Contact a Progent Expert about Patch Management Services
To learn more about Progent's patch management services, call Progent at 800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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