Alternatives To On-Premise Patch Management Software
s the world moves to the cloud, the question becomes what IT infrastructure solutions can move to the cloud. Meraki has moved network management to the cloud. Z Scalar shifted traffic monitoring to the cloud as well. JumpCloud has created the category of Directory-as-a-Service to replace the on-prem Active Directory. So, with many organizations leveraging device / endpoint management solutions on-premise, there is a movement to shift these on-prem patch management tools to the cloud. A new generation of SaaS-based patch management solutions is emerging that is shifting the management of IT infrastructure to the cloud.
Historically, IT networks were largely on-prem. Just over a decade ago, the IT environment was virtually all Microsoft and located on-premise. The result was that IT admins built a suite of management and network management solutions that were located on-prem and optimized for Windows systems. In fact, the most common patching tool that IT organizations implemented was Microsoft WSUS. There are, of course, other endpoint management solutions available, but many of those were (and still are) enterprise class solutions that required significant implementation work, are prohibitively expensive, and needed ongoing management oversight.
When IT admins are thinking about making the move to a cloud-native patch management solution, there are generally three major benefits to this approach:
No on-going infrastructure management – Ironically the endpoint management solution needs to be managed. That means that IT needs to make sure that their patch management tool is up-to-date, the server is functioning properly, and the system is always operating. All of that takes more work from an already burdened IT team.
Location independent approach – Generally with on-premise patch management tools, your systems will need a direct connection to the endpoint management system. The patch management tool will need to be able to interact with the device and execute its tasks. Historically, this has forced IT admins to leverage VPNs on each machine or with each remote location to ensure that the tool can do its job. That adds extra work, time, and cost for the IT group.
Cross platform – As mentioned earlier, most patch management tools have historically focused on the Windows platform, and modern patch management solutions are point solutions as well, focusing on subsets of operating systems and platforms that are in use today. The result for IT has been that they have multiple patch management and endpoint management tools in order to do their job. An inefficient solution that has created more problems than it has solved.
As with most other on-premise solutions and approaches, there are often reasons to leave patch management capabilities on-premise, but those have largely had to do with the fact that very few cloud-based endpoint patching solutions existed, if any. That is changing and a new generation of SaaS-based patch management solutions is emerging.
We here at Automox are leading this charge to shift the on-premise endpoint management world to be delivered from the cloud. Our platform is ensuring that systems located either on-premise or remote, anywhere in the world, can be easily managed and controlled from our central cloud based web interface. All three major operating systems are covered as well as the deployment and patching of a number of critical applications including Java, Office 365, and Adobe among many others. There is no on-going management by the IT staff, we handle the management and administration with our SaaS platform – the IT organization just gets to use the functionality and ensure that their systems and applications are patched.
Facing growing threats and a rapidly expanding attack surface, understaffed and alert-fatigued organizations need more efficient ways to eliminate their exposure to vulnerabilities. Automox is a modern cyber hygiene platform that closes the aperture of attack by more than 80% with just half the effort of traditional solutions.
Cloud-native and globally available, Automox enforces OS & third-party patch management, security configurations, and custom scripting across Windows, Mac, and Linux from a single intuitive console. IT and SecOps can quickly gain control and share visibility of on-prem, remote and virtual endpoints without the need to deploy costly infrastructure.
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