Software Update Management: Challenges and Solutions
Patch Management ConsultingSoftware update management is a vital and complicated task. Timely and properly managed patching optimizes security, regulatory compliance, uptime, and capability. Sporadic patch management can cause security vulnerabilities, compatibility problems, slow or erratic performance, needless downtime, or unavailability of key features. Patching entails more than occasional updates of operating systems and apps for servers and endpoints. Firmware updates can be a vital for peripherals such as printers and scanners, network infrastructure appliances like routers and wireless APs, and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices such as sensors and robotics.

Software Update Management Services

Progent's Software Update Management programs can cover IoT devices like sensors and health monitors

The patching task can present a range of complications that can differ from network to network. IT resources that could require updating can reside on-premises, in a public or private cloud, on the road, or in the offices of remote workers. Networks may support any combination of Microsoft Windows, Linux, Apple, and Google operating systems and apps. Some patches can be installed automatically and at scale using management tools like Configuration Manager, Intune, or Azure Update Management. Other updates must be performed manually. Updating for vital systems must be timed to avoid business disruption. For some mission-critical systems, updates must be carefully validated prior to being approved for production.

Progent's support services for patch management offer organizations of any size a versatile and affordable alternative for evaluating, testing, scheduling, implementing, and tracking updates to your dynamic information network. In addition to maximizing the safety and functionality of your information system, Progent's software and firmware update 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 Consultants

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

Progent's Software Update Management Activities
Progent offers standard and custom service packages for software and firmware patching. These managed services allow you to offload part or all of your patch management tasks to an IT consulting organization with over two decades of background providing solution planning, deployment, and maintenance to businesses of all sizes globally. Progent operates in close conjunction with your network managers to determine the critical managed services you require. Programs offered by Progent for patch include:

  • Inventory system resources: This can cover key platforms like Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server, web-facing servers, desktops and mobile endpoints, security appliances like VPN controllers, and network infrastructure appliances such as routers and wireless access points.
  • Determine resources to be managed: Progent will collaborate with your IT team to determine which of your network resources you choose for continuing software update management services. Progent provides a selection of regular programs that cover specific types of items and Progent can also create custom service programs to meet your unique needs.
  • Implement patch management utilities: Progent is experienced with a broad range of patch installation platforms and update tracking databases. Examples of tools include Azure Update Management for cloud-based resources, Microsoft Configuration Manager for local assets, Microsoft Intune for mobile computers, IT Glue for documentation, plus an arsenal of advanced AV platforms. Used together, these tools enable you to automate and track updates for IT assets located in public and private clouds, on site, on the move, at branch offices, and in the houses of at-home workers.
  • Determine patch currency and perform risk analysis of missing patches: For the most part, environments with up-to-date patching are more protected and dependable than those with inconsistent patching. However, some software updates are rushed into production and have the ability to disrupt essential network operations by causing compatibility issues, system shutdowns, or unfamiliar changes to user experiences. Progent can help clients to assess which updates carry a risk to your company's network, or which patches should be assigned an urgent priority because they block a major cybersecurity threat. Progent's experience with update management services can assist you to maintain a secure computer system without sacrificing business value.
  • Create a patch management program: Progent's group of consultants can help in devising and managing a patch management service program that fits your business needs. Progent offers pre-defined and custom software update management service programs and can assist with both programmatic and manual patching. Progent can manage business-critical assets exclusively, all updateable assets, or somewhere in between.
  • Patch testing: Even the world's largest networks like Amazon AWS and Azure have had widespread outages that resulted from updates that were not sufficiently tested prior to being applied to live environments. For organizations with no room for service disruption, Progent can help create pilot environments that permit you to verify that new updates will not introduce stability issues for your IT system.
  • Rank and schedule updates: Progent can help you to decide which updates should be implemented immediately and which can be delayed in order to reduce business disruption. Some worldwide industry standards, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, require that critical security patches be implemented inside a defined time period.
  • Track update history and status: Progent's standard update management programs include creating a centralized database for tracking the patch level of every subscribed asset. This streamlines the job of locating where software, firmware, or driver updates can be found and specifies patch release dates, related notes, and additional important information needed for a complete update management solution.
  • Fix patch problems: Patches to some key resources such as an OS or app server can result in unforeseen compatibility or reliability issues, most commonly with outdated or custom applications or older hardware. Progent has the breadth of experience to help you to identify and resolve problems that may appear due to applying a patch.
Patch Management for Network Devices from Cisco and Other Providers
Software and firmware updates are regularly developed for network devices such as firewalls, routers, switches, and Wi-Fi APs. These updates usually are designed to harden security, enhance features, or correct reliability issues. Managing patches for these network infrastructure appliances can be a challenge, particularly in multi-vendor environments and systems that include a mixture of on-premises data centers, telecommuters, regional offices, and cloud-hosted assets. Besides tracking and acquiring the latest updates, network managers must ensure that infrastructure devices have sufficient free disk storage and that patches are transferred cleanly and work correctly.

Progent has delivered high-end support for Cisco infrastructure appliances for over twenty years and also can provide technical guidance for devices from other leading vendors such as Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet, and WatchGuard. Progent's end-to-end services for patch management can assist your organization to expand your patching solution to include network appliances along with servers, desktop and mobile endpoints, applications, and Internet-of-Things items.

Patch Management Services for Infrastructure Devices

Progent offers software update management expertise for network devices from Cisco and other vendors

Progent's Standard and Custom Patch Management Services
Progent provides a variety of regular patch management packages that include scheduled backup, extensive reporting, and thorough documentation. Cost is determined by the type and quantity of entities covered. Extra services including creating environments for initial patch validation are invoiced at normal rates. Custom plans are also offered and usually handle unique devices and/or apps.

PROACTIVE Server Software Update Management

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

Initial Patching Process Extra Costs:
Initial patching will have an additional cost for each server or network item to enable capture and documentation of current update level as well as any more information needed for effectively managing the ongoing patching as defined previously. If many updates are needed that require extra time for the first-time patching, Progent will provide any estimates beyond the normal patching cost.

Additional Services Available:

Download the Patch Management Services Datasheet
For a datasheet describing Progent Patch Management Services, click:
Progent Patch Management Services Datasheet. (PDF - 330 KB)

Talk to Progent about Software/Firmware Update Management Solutions
To find out additional information about Progent's patch management offerings, call Progent at 800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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