Patch Management: Problems and Solutions
Patch Management ServicesSoftware update management is a vital and complicated task. Timely and correctly managed patching optimizes security, regulatory compliance, uptime, and functionality. Sporadic patch management can cause security vulnerabilities, compatibility issues, sluggish or erratic responsiveness, unnecessary downtime, or loss of important functions. Patching involves more than occasional updates of operating systems and applications for servers and endpoints. Firmware patches can be a vital for peripheral devices like printers and scanners, network appliances like routers and Wi-Fi APs, and IoT devices like sensors and health monitors.

Patch Management Services

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

The update task can present a number of challenges that can differ for various environments. IT resources that could require patching can be located on-premises, in the cloud, mobile, or in the homes of telecommuters. Networks may include any combination of Microsoft Windows, Linux, Apple macOS, and Google operating systems and applications. Some patches can be installed programmatically and at virtually any scale with management tools like Configuration Manager, Microsoft Intune, or Azure Update Management. Other updates must be performed manually. Patching for core systems must be timed to avoid business disruption. In certain line-of-business systems, patches must be thoroughly tested before being applied to production.

Progent's managed services for patch management offer organizations of all sizes a versatile and cost-effective alternative for assessing, validating, scheduling, implementing, and documenting software and firmware updates to your ever-evolving IT system. Besides optimizing the security and functionality of your IT network, Progent's patch management programs free up time for your IT team to focus on strategic initiatives and tasks that return top business advantage to your information system.

Patch Management for Network Infrastructure Appliances from Cisco and Other Providers
Software and firmware updates are frequently developed for network appliances like firewalls, routers, switches, and wireless APs. These patches usually are designed to improve security, enhance functionality, or mitigate stability and compatibility issues. Managing updates for these infrastructure devices can pose a challenge, particularly in mixed-vendor environments and networks that include a mixture of on-premises datacenters, telecommuters, branch offices, and cloud-based resources. Besides monitoring and acquiring updates, network managers must ensure that network appliances have enough free disk space and that patches are transferred uncorrupted and operate correctly.

Progent has delivered advanced assistance for Cisco networking products for over two decades and also offers technical guidance for devices from other top network companies such as Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet, and CheckPoint. Progent's services for software update management can assist you to expand your software update solution to cover network appliances as well as servers, endpoints, applications software, and Internet-of-Things items.

Software Update Management Services for Network Infrastructure Appliances

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

Progent's Patch Management Processes
Progent offers standard and custom service programs for patch management. These services permit you to outsource part or all of your company's software update management tasks to a network services firm with more than 20 years of experience providing network planning, deployment, and support to companies of all sizes globally. Progent works in close conjunction with your network managers to determine the critical services you need. Programs offered by Progent for patch include:

  • Discover network resources: This can cover key platforms like Exchange and SQL Server, web-facing physical and virtual servers, desktops and mobile endpoints, security devices such as VPN controllers, and network appliances like switches and wireless APs.
  • Determine assets to be placed under management: Progent will collaborate with you to select which of your IT resources you pick for continuing software update management services. Progent offers a selection of standard programs that cover specific classes of items and Progent can also create specialized service programs to accommodate your particular needs.
  • Deploy patch management utilities: Progent is familiar with a broad selection of patch installation platforms and patch tracking databases. Available utilities include Azure Update for cloud-hosted resources, System Center Configuration Manager for on-prem resources, Intune for mobile computers, IT Glue for documentation, plus an arsenal of advanced anti-virus platforms. Combined, these products allow you to deploy and monitor patches for IT resources residing in public and private clouds, on site, on the move, at district offices, and in the houses of at-home workers.
  • Analyze update status and carry out risk analysis of uninstalled patches: For the most part, environments with current patching are more protected and stable than those subject to inconsistent patching. However, some software updates are hurried into production and carry the ability to disturb essential business processes by introducing compatibility problems, system shutdowns, or confusing alterations to end-user environments. Progent can assist clients to determine which updates pose a risk to your company's network, or which patches should be given an urgent priority because they defend against an imminent cybersecurity threat. Progent's background providing update management support can assist your organization to maintain a safe computer system without compromising productivity.
  • Develop a software update management program: Progent's group of consultants can assist in devising and managing a patch management program that fits your business requirements. Progent can provide standard and specialized software update management service programs and can assist with programmatic and manual patching. Progent can manage mission-critical resources only, all patchable resources, or somewhere in between.
  • Patch testing: Even the world's largest networks including Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure have experienced major outages caused by updates that were insufficiently tested prior to being rolled out to live systems. For organizations with no room for downtime, Progent can help create test systems that permit you to verify that new updates will not introduce stability issues for your network.
  • Prioritize and schedule patches: Progent can help you to determine which patches should be performed immediately and which can be postponed so as to minimize service interruption. Certain worldwide regulatory standards, like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, mandate that critical security updates be implemented inside a certain timeframe.
  • Track update history and status: Progent's regular patch management service programs include creating a centralized database for following the patch level of every monitored asset. This streamlines the job of finding where patches can be downloaded and specifies release dates, release notes, and other important data required for a complete update management system.
  • Fix patch problems: Patches to some key entities like an operating system or application server can result in unforeseen compatibility or stability issues, most commonly with outdated or custom software or older devices. Progent has the scope of experience to assist you to identify and mitigate problems that may appear due to deploying a software update.
Progent's Standard and Specialized Patch Management Services
Progent offers a variety of regular patch management plans that include scheduled backup, reporting, and thorough documentation. Pricing is determined by the type and number of entities covered. Extra services including creating environments for initial software update testing are invoiced at time and material rates. Specialized plans are also available and typically handle unusual hardware and/or applications.

PROACTIVE Server Software Update Management

On Prem or Private Cloud-hosted 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 time and material 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
On Prem 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 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

Initial Patching Process Additional Costs:
First-time updating will be subject to an extra cost for each server or network device to provide for capture and recording of current patch level and any more information needed for effectively carrying out the ongoing patching as described previously. If many updates are needed that require extra work for the first-time updating, Progent will provide any cost estimates above the regular patching cost.

Additional Services Offered:

Contact a Progent Expert about Patch Management Services
To find out more about Progent's software/firmware update management offerings, call Progent at 800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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