Software Update Management: Challenges and Benefits
Software Update Management ExpertisePatch management is a vital and complicated process. Timely and properly managed updating optimizes security, compliance, uptime, and functionality. Haphazard patch management can result in security gaps, compatibility problems, sluggish or inconsistent responsiveness, needless downtime, or loss of key functions. Patching entails more than periodic updates of operating systems and apps for servers and endpoints. Firmware patches can be an essential for peripherals such as printers and scanners, infrastructure appliances like routers and wireless APs, and IoT devices such as alarms and robotics.

Patch Management Experts

Progent's Software Update Management programs can oversee IoT devices like alarms and robotics

The update process can pose a number of challenges that can differ for various environments. Assets that could need updating can reside on site, in the cloud, on the road, or in the homes of telecommuters. Networks may include a mix of Windows, Linux, Apple, and Google operating systems and apps. Some updates can be installed automatically and at virtually any scale using tools like Microsoft Configuration Manager, Intune, or Azure Automation Update. Others must be performed manually. Patching for core resources must be scheduled to minimize business disruption. In certain line-of-business environments, updates must be carefully validated prior to being applied to production.

Progent's support services for patch management provide organizations of all sizes a versatile and affordable alternative for evaluating, testing, scheduling, implementing, and tracking updates to your dynamic information system. In addition to maximizing the safety and functionality of your information system, Progent's update management services open up time for your IT team to focus on strategic projects and tasks that return maximum business advantage to your network.

Patch Management Consultants

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

Progent's Software Update Management Activities
Progent provides standard and specialized service programs for software and firmware patching. These services permit you to outsource part or all of your software update management activity to an IT support firm with over 20 years of background delivering solution design, deployment, and support to businesses of all sizes globally. Progent operates closely with your IT management team to define the critical services you require. Services offered by Progent for patch include:

  • Discover system resources: This can include business-critical platforms such as Exchange and SQL Server, web-facing servers, desktops and mobile endpoints, security products such as VPN controllers, and network appliances like routers and wireless APs.
  • Determine assets to be managed: Progent will confer with you to determine which of your network assets you pick for continuing patch management services. Progent offers a selection of regular programs that target specific types of assets and Progent can also provide specialized service programs to meet your unique needs.
  • Implement software update management tools: Progent is familiar with a wide range of patch installation tools and update inventory reporting systems. Available tools include Azure Automation Update Management for cloud-based assets, System Center Configuration Manager for on-premises assets, Intune for mobile devices, IT Glue for IT asset documentation, plus a selection of modern AV products. Combined, these tools allow you to deploy and monitor patches for network assets residing in public and private clouds, on-premises, on the move, at branch offices, and in the houses of at-home workers.
  • Analyze update currency and perform risk assessment of missing updates: Generally, environments with up-to-date patching are more protected and dependable than those subject to inconsistent patching. Still, occasionally patches are hurried into production and carry the ability to disrupt vital business processes by introducing compatibility problems, system shutdowns, or confusing alterations to end-user experiences. Progent can help you to determine which updates carry a risk to your company's IT environment, or which updates should be assigned an urgent priority because they block an imminent security attack. Progent's background with update management support can help you to administer a safe computer system without compromising business value.
  • Pick a patch management service program: Progent's team of consultants can help in designing and managing a software update management service program that fits your particular requirements. Progent offers pre-defined and custom software update management service programs and can help with both automated and manual patching. Progent can manage business-critical assets exclusively, all patchable resources, or somewhere in between.
  • Patch testing: Even the world's largest networks like Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure have had major outages caused by updates that were insufficiently tested prior to being applied to production environments. For businesses with zero tolerance for downtime, Progent can help create pilot environments that permit you to make sure that new patches will not introduce reliability issues for your IT system.
  • Prioritize and schedule patches: Progent can help you to decide which updates should be performed immediately and which can be safely delayed so as to reduce business disruption. Some worldwide industry standards, such as the PCI Data Security Standard, mandate that critical security updates be installed within a certain timeframe.
  • Track update history and status: Progent's standard patch management service programs include creating a centralized knowledge base for tracking the patch level of every subscribed asset. This streamlines the job of locating where patches can be found and includes patch release dates, release notes, and other useful information needed for a comprehensive patch management system.
  • Debug patch failures: Updates to some key items such as an OS or application server can cause unforeseen compatibility or reliability problems, particularly with outdated or home-grown software or older hardware. Progent has the scope of experience to help you to understand and mitigate problems that may crop up as a result of implementing an update.
Software Update Management for Network Appliances from Cisco and Other Vendors
Software and firmware patches are frequently released for network infrastructure devices such as firewalls, routers, switches, and Wi-Fi APs. These patches usually are designed to improve cybersecurity, enhance features, or correct stability and compatibility problems. Managing updates for these network devices can be a challenge, especially in mixed-vendor networks and networks that have a mixture of on-premises datacenters, telecommuters, branch offices, and cloud-based assets. In addition to monitoring and accessing updates, network managers must ensure that infrastructure devices have sufficient disk storage and that patches are transferred uncorrupted and operate correctly.

Progent has provided advanced assistance for Cisco infrastructure appliances for more than twenty years and also offers expertise for products from other leading network companies such as Juniper, SonicWall, and CheckPoint. Progent's end-to-end services for patch management can help your organization to expand your patching solution to cover infrastructure appliances as well as servers, endpoints, applications software, and IoT devices.

Software Update Management Support for Network Devices

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

Progent's Regular and Specialized Patch Management Plans
Progent provides a variety of regular software update management packages that include backup, extensive reporting, and documentation. Cost is based on the type and quantity of devices enrolled. Extra services such as creating environments for initial software update testing are billed at time and material rates. Custom plans are also offered and typically cover unusual devices and/or applications.

PROACTIVE Server Patch Management Services

On Premises 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 time and material 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 time and material 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 - 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 SLA - Add-on service

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

Initial Patching Process Additional Costs:
Initial updating will have an extra cost per server or network item to provide for capture and documentation of current patch level and any more documentation needed for effectively managing the ongoing patching as defined previously. If multiple updates are necessary that demand extra work for the initial patching, Progent will present any cost estimates above the normal update cost.

Other Services Available:

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)

Talk to a Progent Expert about Software/Firmware Update Management Solutions
To learn more about Progent's patch management services, call Progent at 800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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