Security vendor Avast has introduced a new patch management service designed to help small and midsize businesses roll out security updates more easily and efficiently.
According to Avast, roughly half of software vulnerabilities are exploited within two to four weeks of a software update being released. The time-intensive evaluation and testing of patches, however, causes businesses to require 120 days on average to implement updates, exposing them to severe risk. Avast Business Patch Management offers a centralized service that businesses and MSPs can use to identify critical patches, prioritize their deployment, and monitor the outcome to maintain security integrity.
“Most small to mid-sized businesses understand how important patching is, but the simple truth is that no one likes to patch and often the IT team is only one person who is overloaded with tasks,” said Arne Uppheim, product management director for Avast Business, in a media statement. “Patching interrupts critical systems, causes a loss of productivity, and potentially even problems with other integrated systems. On the other hand, not patching exposes the business to data loss and stolen intellectual property, downtime through lengthy remediation, questionable data recovery, and ongoing reputational harm. We are making it easy for our small and medium-sized business customers and our channel partners to identify and deploy critical patches, and monitor ongoing activity from our central Patch Management dashboard.”
In a study prepared using its Security Site Assessment tool, Avast Business found that only 304 of 500,000 devices analyzed, or less than 1%, were completely patched. Avast Business Patch Management is designed to take the pain out of patching by providing IT teams with the choice of how to activate patches to fit their business.
Key features include:
- Flexible deployment schedules: IT teams can schedule and deploy approved patches at desired times on a regular basis, or manually deploy to groups or individual devices.
- Automatic scans: IT can schedule patch scans to run automatically every 24 hours and set patches to deploy automatically on specific days. These default settings can be customized at any time.
- Intuitive dashboard: This allows businesses to manage all software patches and view graphical summaries of installed, missing, or failed patches from any device.
- Customizable patches: IT can choose software vendors, products, and the severity of patches to scan and install, and easily create exclusions for applications.
- Master agent capabilities: This enables businesses to download all missing patches to a master agent that distributes patches to all managed devices in the network.
- Patch scan results: Teams can view detailed results from the management platform that includes information on missing patches, severity levels, knowledge base links, release dates, descriptions, and more.
- Advanced reporting: This helps to easily determine the health and security of device software with a variety of easily configurable reports.
- Thousands of patches: Teams can deploy patches for Windows Operating Systems and thousands of other third-party software applications for comprehensive protection.
Patch management functionality is commonly found in RMM software. Avast Business sold its Managed Workplace RMM system to Barracuda Networks in February.
It also shipped a cloud-based secure web gateway based on technology from Zscaler Inc. the next month.