Continuous patch compliance visibility and enforcement
There are many compelling reasons to implement a comprehensive patch management process, to mention just a few:
- known vulnerabilities of un-patched systems are targets for viruses and malicious code.
- un-patched systems are in breach of new and increased governance such as Sarbanes-Oxley.
- there are also threats brought through modern working practices, remote workers, interconnected sites.
A successful patch management solution is not just about the software technology used to deploy patches, it is also about having the right people and processes in place to make a solution work. BigFix patch management software not only provides the technology to deploy patches but also reduces the burden on the people supporting the patch management process.
The IBM BigFix® patch management solution follows a six step process:
- IBM research software vendor patch information and provide it in the form of a policy content stream to BigFix Enterprise Servers.
- BigFix agents determine if the patch is required on their endpoint and inform the BigFix server.
- Operators can review, prioritise, schedule and deploy patches.
- The agent confirms that a patch has been successfully deployed.
- BigFix agents continually monitor an endpoint to ensure they are patch compliant.
- Real time reporting allows you to audit and assess the patch compliance across your enterprise.
How much of your Patch Management Process can be automated?
Most companies that have implemented an effective Patch Management solution follow a similar process, but the cost of delivery varies widely between companies. The key to this variation is in the automation of the solution, the greater the automation the lower the costs. Using the BigFix Patch management solution as an example let’s see how BigFix could help you deliver an automated patching process that is simpler faster and cheaper than your existing solution.
It can be seen from the diagram that BigFix provides efficiencies through automation of the patching process. BigFix researches software vendor patches, discovers where they are required, validates the implementation and monitors the clients for patch compliance. Leaving patch teams only to decide if a patch is required and if so create a deployment schedule that fits in with your change management process.
Patch management is an essential part of every day IT, and an intelligent software toolset can compliment and reduce the burden on the people and processes that make up a patch management solution. Adoption of the automated BigFix Patch management solution will provide a dramatic reduction in patch cycle times, reduce staff workloads and increase the effectiveness of your patching process.