Software Update Management: Problems and Benefits
Software Update Management ConsultingPatch management is a vital and complicated process. Prompt and properly managed updating maximizes cybersecurity, regulatory compliance, uptime, and functionality. Sporadic software update management can result in security vulnerabilities, compatibility problems, sluggish or inconsistent responsiveness, needless offline stretches, or loss of key functions. Patching involves more than occasional updates of an OS and apps for servers and user machines. Firmware patches can be a vital for peripheral devices such as printers and scanners, network appliances like routers and Wi-Fi access points, and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices like alarms and health monitors.

Patch Management Services

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

The patching process can present a number of challenges that can differ from one environment to the next. Assets that may need updating can be located on-premises, in the cloud, on the road, or in the homes of remote workers. Networks may include a combination of Windows, Linux, Apple macOS, and Google operating systems and applications. Some updates can be installed programmatically and at scale with management tools like Configuration Manager, Microsoft Intune, or Azure Update Management. Other updates must be performed manually. Patching for vital resources must be scheduled to avoid business interruption. In some line-of-business systems, patches must be carefully validated before being applied to production.

Progent's support services for software and firmware patch management offer organizations of any size a versatile and affordable alternative for assessing, testing, scheduling, implementing, and tracking software and firmware updates to your dynamic IT network. In addition to maximizing the safety and performance of your IT network, Progent's patch management offerings free up time for your in-house IT team to concentrate on strategic initiatives that return maximum business value to your information system.

Patch Management Experts

Patch management is a closed-loop lifecycle central to your risk management strategy

Progent's Software Update Management Processes
Progent offers regular and specialized service packages for software and firmware patching. These services allow you to offload part or all of your company's patch management tasks to an IT support firm with more than 20 years of background delivering solution planning, implementation, and maintenance to companies of all sizes worldwide. Progent operates in close conjunction with your IT managers to define the critical managed services you need. Programs offered by Progent for software update include:

  • Discover network resources: This can cover key platforms such as Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server, web-facing physical and virtual servers, workstations and mobile endpoints, security devices like firewalls, and infrastructure devices like routers and Wi-Fi access points.
  • Identify resources to be placed under management: Progent's experts will collaborate with your IT team to determine which of your IT resources you pick for continuing software update management services. Progent provides a selection of standard service programs that cover specific types of items and Progent can also create specialized programs to accommodate your particular needs.
  • Implement software update management tools: Progent is familiar with a wide selection of patch installation platforms and patch tracking databases. Available tools include Azure Automation Update for cloud-based assets, System Center Configuration Manager for local entities, Microsoft Intune for mobile computers, IT Glue for IT asset documentation, as well as a selection of modern AV products. Combined, these products allow you to automate and track updates for network resources located in cloud environments, on-premises, on the road, at district offices, and in the residences of at-home workers.
  • Analyze patch status and perform risk analysis of missing updates: Generally, systems with up-to-date patching are more protected and stable than those with sporadic patching. Still, some patches are rushed into production and carry the potential to disturb vital network operations by causing compatibility issues, system instability, or unfamiliar alterations to user environments. Progent can help clients to determine which updates pose a risk to your organization's network, or which updates should be given a high priority because they defend against an imminent security attack. Progent's background with update management services can help you to maintain a secure computer system without compromising productivity.
  • Pick a software update management service program: Progent's team of consultants can help in devising and administering a software update management program that aligns with your business needs. Progent offers pre-defined and specialized patch management programs and can assist with programmatic and manual updating. Progent can handle mission-critical assets exclusively, all updateable resources, or anything in between.
  • Patch validation: 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 rolled out to live environments. For businesses with no tolerance for service disruption, Progent can assist to create test environments that allow you to make sure that new patches will not cause reliability issues for your network.
  • Rank and schedule updates: Progent can assist you to determine which patches should be implemented immediately and which can be delayed in order to minimize business disruption. Certain worldwide regulatory standards, such as the PCI Data Security Standard, mandate that the most critical cybersecurity updates be implemented inside a specified timeframe.
  • Document update history and status: Progent's standard update management programs include creating a centralized knowledge base for tracking the update level of every monitored asset. This simplifies the job of finding where patches can be found and includes patch release dates, release advisories, and additional useful information needed for a complete patch management solution.
  • Fix patch problems: Updates to some core resources like an operating system or app server can result in unforeseen compatibility or reliability issues, particularly with outdated or home-grown software or older devices. Progent has the breadth of experience to assist you to understand and mitigate issues that may appear as a result of applying a software update.
Software Update Management for Network Infrastructure Appliances from Cisco and Other Providers
Software updates are regularly developed for infrastructure appliances like firewalls, routers, wireless controllers, and wireless APs. These updates usually are designed to harden security, enhance features, or correct stability and compatibility issues. Managing patches for these infrastructure devices can be a hassle, especially in multi-vendor networks and systems that have a combination of on-premises datacenters, telecommuters, branch offices, and cloud-based assets. Besides monitoring and acquiring the latest updates, IT managers have to make sure that network appliances have enough free disk space and that patches are transferred uncorrupted and work correctly.

Progent has delivered advanced assistance for Cisco networking products for more than twenty years and also offers expertise for products from other leading network companies including Juniper, Fortinet, and WatchGuard. Progent's services for software update management can help your organization to expand your patching solution to include network appliances along with physical and virtual servers, endpoints, apps, and Internet-of-Things items.

Patch Management Services for Network Devices

Progent can provide software update management expertise for infrastructure appliances from Cisco and other vendors

Progent's Regular and Custom Software Update Management Services
Progent has developed a range of standard patch management packages that include scheduled backup, reporting, and thorough documentation. Cost is based on the type and quantity of entities enrolled. Additional services including building environments for initial software update piloting are billed at normal rates. Custom plans are also available and typically handle unusual devices and/or apps.

PROACTIVE Server Patch Management Services

On Prem or Private Cloud Server: Microsoft Azure Cloud Servers Patch Management:
  • Compliance scan of all Windows and Linux servers
  • Update compliance evaluation report for enabled machines
  • Scheduled Patching and Preventative Maintenance
  • License & Resource documentation and management
  • Managed Anti-Virus - Current AV system
  • Begin server backup once scanned
  • Additional Support Billed at T&M Rates
  • IT Glue access management and resources documentation
Onsite or Virtual Workstation:
  • ProSight Availability Tracking
  • OS & 3rd Party Patch Management
  • Scheduled Patching and 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 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 - 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 Service-Level Agreement - Add-on service

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

Original Patching Event Extra Costs:
Initial patching will be subject to an additional cost per server or network device to enable review and recording of current update level and any other information needed for properly providing the patching services as described above. If multiple updates are necessary that demand extra time for the initial updating, Progent will present any cost estimates beyond the normal patching cost.

Additional Services Available:

Download the Patch Management Services Datasheet
To download a datasheet about the features and benefits of Progent Patch Management Services, select:
Progent Patch Management Services Datasheet. (PDF - 330 KB)

Talk to a Progent Expert about Software/Firmware Update Management Services
To find out additional information about Progent's software/firmware update management offerings, call Progent at 800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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