Patch Management: How a Managed Service Provider Can Help Your organization


In the modern era, the majority of the organizations depend on their information technology infrastructure to increase their business, save money, and augment their profitability. The malicious virus and worm threats have been growing, thus compelling businesses to think over their security requirements in order to safeguard their environment. Research has exhibited that the most effective way to counter the attacks is to ensure that every machine in the environment has the latest patches installed. If one computer in the environment is not patched, it can threaten the stability of the entire environment and possibly inhibit normal functionality. These updates are important as there are always improvements to the software’s base reliability, performance, and security that need to be addressed. Patch Management is a more hands-on approach to managing the software patches themselves. It requires involvement and awareness of the potential ways that the Patch could impact your system.

How a Managed Service Provider Can Help your business

A qualified Managed Services Provider (MSP) should take the following steps with regard to installing or applying Windows Updates or Patches.

• Approval of Patches:- You must take it into consideration that patches are deployed in a test environment to make sure that they are error-free and stable before you roll them out to your entire network. In case, your business has multiple departments and a team of system administrators, you must assure that the patches tested by one department are able to be directly approved for deployment. This will save you a lot of time and effort which can be applied for performing other tasks.

• Patch Deployment:- Patches should be applied at a time where there is minimal network downtime or core business interference. Generally, a managed Service Provider schedules these patches to occur on evenings or weekends.

• Patch Reports:- You should be provided with regular patch reports, which provide details about your business network, system vulnerability level, missing Windows patches, applicable Windows patches, installations status, etc.

• Security Definitions and Antivirus Updates:- Antivirus definition updates are quite crucial for all small business enterprises. Antivirus software is critical for all machines that regularly transmit data to/from the internet (send receive an email, browse webpages, and download content or email attachments). Antivirus definitions are the current list virus/malware/spyware threats that are being actively scanned for and protected against by your Antivirus software. Keeping current Antivirus definitions ensures that you are protected as soon as possible from all new and recently concocted threats. With the volume of malicious code increasing each year Network Administrators need to keep an eye on these frequent definition updates to avoid any possible mishaps. However, this process can also be made easier by using a Managed Services Provider.

You must assure that Managed Service Providers (MSP) scan computers regularly to identify any potential missing patches, identifies missing patches, and downloads them from the appropriate vendors’ Web site. The patch management solution can fix this for you. Downloading patches that are required for your network and scheduling tasks related to patch deployment of those patches that could impact network operations (Server updates). The download patches that your business requires and installs them on to specific workstations computers.