Patch Management: Problems and Benefits
Patch Management ExpertisePatch management is a vital and complex task. Prompt and correctly managed updating maximizes cybersecurity, compliance, availability, and functionality. Sporadic software update management can cause security vulnerabilities, compatibility problems, sluggish or inconsistent performance, excessive offline stretches, or loss of key features. Patching involves more than occasional updates of an OS and apps for servers and endpoints. Firmware patches can be a critical for peripherals like printers and scanners, network infrastructure appliances such as routers and Wi-Fi access points, and Internet-of-Things devices like sensors and health monitors.

Patch Management Experts

Progent's Software Update Management services can oversee IoT devices like sensors and health monitors

The patching process can pose a number of complications that vary from network to network. IT resources that may require updating can be on site, in the cloud, on the road, or in the offices of remote workers. Environments may include a combination of Windows, Linux, Apple, and Google operating systems and applications. Some patches can be installed automatically and at virtually any scale using tools like Configuration Manager, Intune, or Azure Automation Update. Other updates must be performed manually. Updating for vital systems must be timed to minimize business interruption. In certain line-of-business systems, patches must be carefully tested before being applied to production.

Progent's support services for software and firmware patch management offer businesses of all sizes a flexible and cost-effective solution for assessing, testing, scheduling, implementing, and tracking updates to your dynamic IT network. In addition to maximizing the security and performance of your network, Progent's patch management programs free up time for your IT staff to focus on strategic initiatives and tasks that return maximum business value to your information system.

Patch Management Experts

Patch management is a closed-loop process critical to your risk management strategy

Progent's Software Update Management Activities
Progent provides regular and specialized service programs for patch management. These managed services allow you to outsource some or all of your software update management tasks to an IT support organization with more than 20 years of experience providing network design, deployment, and maintenance to companies of all sizes worldwide. Progent operates closely with your IT managers to define the scope of the managed services you require. Services offered by Progent for patch include:

  • Discover network resources: This can include business-critical applications like Exchange and SQL Server, web-facing physical and virtual servers, workstations and mobile endpoints, security products such as firewalls, and network appliances like routers and wireless APs.
  • Determine resources to be placed under management: Progent's experts will collaborate with your IT team to select which of your network assets you pick for continuing patch management services. Progent provides a selection of regular programs that target specific classes of items and Progent can also create specialized programs to accommodate your particular needs.
  • Deploy patch management utilities: Progent is experienced with a wide selection of patch installation platforms and update inventory databases. Available tools include Azure Update for cloud-based resources, Microsoft Configuration Manager for local assets, Microsoft Intune for mobile computers, IT Glue for IT asset documentation, as well as a selection of modern anti-virus products. Combined, these products allow you to deploy and track updates for IT resources located in public and private clouds, on-premises, on the road, at district offices, and in the residences of at-home workers.
  • Analyze update currency and carry out risk analysis of uninstalled patches: For the most part, systems with current patching are more protected and stable than those with sporadic patching. Still, occasionally software updates are rushed into production and have the potential to disturb essential network operations by causing compatibility issues, system shutdowns, or unfamiliar changes to user experiences. Progent can help you to assess which updates pose a risk to your company's network, or which updates should be assigned a high priority because they defend against a major cybersecurity attack. Progent's background providing patch management services can assist your organization to maintain a safe computer system without compromising business value.
  • Create a patch management service program: Progent's group of consultants can help in designing and managing a patch management service program that aligns with your business and security requirements. Progent can provide standard and custom software update management service programs and can help with both automated as well as manual patching. Progent can handle mission-critical assets only, all patchable resources, or anything in between.
  • Patch testing: Even the world's largest networks including Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure have had major outages that resulted from updates that were not sufficiently tested prior to being applied to live environments. For businesses with zero room for service disruption, Progent can assist to create pilot environments that allow you to verify that new patches will not cause stability issues for your IT system.
  • Prioritize and schedule patches: Progent can help you to decide which patches should be performed quickly and which can be delayed so as to minimize service disruption. Certain worldwide regulatory standards, such as the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard, require that critical cybersecurity patches be implemented inside a defined timeframe.
  • Track update history and status: Progent's standard patch management service programs include the creation of a centralized knowledge base for tracking the update level of every monitored asset. This simplifies the task of finding where updates can be accessed and includes release dates, release advisories, and additional important data required for a complete update management solution.
  • Debug patch failures: Patches to some core items such as an OS or application server can cause unforeseen compatibility or stability problems, especially with outdated or custom software or older devices. Progent has the scope of experience to help you to identify and resolve issues that may appear due to deploying an update.
Patch Management for Network Appliances from Cisco and Other Providers
Software and firmware patches are regularly released for network infrastructure devices such as firewalls, routers, switches, and wireless APs. These updates usually are designed to harden cybersecurity, enhance features, or correct reliability problems. Managing patches for these infrastructure appliances can pose a hassle, especially in mixed-vendor environments and systems that have a combination of on-site data centers, telecommuters, regional offices, and cloud-hosted assets. Besides tracking and accessing the latest updates, network managers have to verify that network infrastructure devices have enough disk storage and that updates are transferred uncorrupted and work correctly.

Progent has delivered advanced assistance for Cisco networking products for more than two decades and also offers technical guidance for products from other top vendors such as Juniper, SonicWall, and WatchGuard. Progent's end-to-end services for patch management can help you to consolidate your patching system to include network appliances as well as servers, endpoints, applications, and Internet-of-Things devices.

Patch Management Services for Network Infrastructure Appliances

Progent offers patch management support for network appliances from Cisco and other vendors

Progent's Regular and Custom Patch Management Plans
Progent provides a variety of regular software update management packages that include scheduled backup, reporting, and thorough documentation. Pricing is based on the type and quantity of devices enrolled. Additional support such as creating systems for initial software update validation are billed at time and material rates. Specialized plans are also offered and typically cover unusual hardware and/or apps.

PROACTIVE Server Software Update Management Services

Onsite or Private Cloud-hosted Server: Azure Cloud Servers Patch Management:
  • Compliance scan of all Windows and Linux servers
  • Update compliance evaluation report for enabled machines
  • Scheduled Patching and Maintenance Maintenance
  • License & Asset documentation and management
  • Managed Anti-Virus - Current AV system
  • Initiate server backup once complete
  • Additional Support Billed at T&M Rates
  • IT Glue access management and resources documentation
On Prem or Virtual Workstation:
  • ProSight Availability Monitoring
  • Operating System & Third Party Patch Management
  • Scheduled Patching and Maintenance Maintenance
  • Managed Anti-Virus - current AV system
  • Hosted Anti-Spam - Spam Hero
  • Additional Support Billed at T&M Rates
  • IT Glue access management and resources documentation
BASIC Server Patch Management

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

Security Critical Patches - completed within 48 hours of Progent being notified - invoiced only when required

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 SLA - Add-on service

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

Original Patching Event Additional Costs:
First-time updating will be subject to an additional cost for each server or network device to provide for capture and recording of current update level as well as any more documentation required for properly managing the patching services as described previously. If multiple patches are needed that require additional work for the first-time patching, Progent will present any estimates above the normal update cost.

Additional Services Available:

Download Progent's Patch Management Services Datasheet
To download a datasheet about the features and benefits of Progent Patch Management Services, click:
Progent Software Update Managed Services Datasheet. (PDF - 330 KB)

Contact Progent about Software/Firmware Update Management Solutions
To learn more about Progent's software/firmware update management offerings, call Progent at 800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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