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What is patch management software?

Patch management software is a type of cybersecurity tool that makes it easier for organizations to apply patches and updates to their software or operating systems to prevent vulnerabilities.

Attackers are constantly looking for vulnerabilities in software, and as soon as a software vendor is aware of one, the attackers likely are too. Therefore, organizations must apply patches as soon as they become available in order to reduce the likelihood of a breach, but this is easier said than done. Patch management software helps simplify the process of deploying the right updates to the right systems.

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What are some key patch management software features?

When shopping for patch management software, there are a few features and capabilities that are important to look for in a potential solution. These include automation, compliance, and user experience.

Automation

Most businesses simply don’t have the in-house cybersecurity personnel to apply patches in a timely manner. Thankfully, patch management software can automate a majority of this process.

Automated patch management keeps the business safe and allows in-house cybersecurity staff to focus on more pressing issues. Patch management software also provides a centralized console where IT staff can review new patches and apply them company-wide, greatly simplifying the process.

Compliance

Patch management software is not only important for preventing breaches, but it can also help an organization maintain compliance with relevant laws and regulations. Businesses in highly-regulated industries, like healthcare, are required to have certain cybersecurity measures in place to keep customer data secure.

Patch management software can satisfy some of these requirements because it shows that the organization has a plan to deal with vulnerabilities. Additionally, the business will get reports about when IT applied patches and any that they failed to apply, creating an audit trail.

User Experience

Patch management also reduces downtime and improves the usability of many applications. When businesses apply updates and patches, they may get access to new features or functionality that weren’t available in previous versions. This access typically improves the efficiency of their operations.

Plus, operating systems may only support the newest versions of software, meaning organizations that don’t regularly update their systems could experience downtime. Using patch management software not only helps avoid the negative consequences of security breaches but also helps prevent inefficiencies that come with using outdated software.

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