Avast, the world leader in digital security products, has launched a new Patch Management service to help small and mid-sized businesses manage necessary security updates more easily and efficiently.
Around 50% of software vulnerabilities exploited occur within 2-4 weeks of a software update being released, however, the time-intensive evaluation and required testing of patches means businesses on average take 120 days to implement the updates, exposing them to severe risk.
Avast Business Patch Management offers an easy to use centralized service that automatically identifies critical patches, prioritizes their deployment, and monitors 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, Avast Business.
“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.”
Patches are an essential component of endpoint security as they fix vulnerabilities or security gaps in Windows operating systems and other third-party applications, and ensure regulatory compliance.
In a study using its Security Site Assessment tool, Avast Business found only 304 of the 500,000 devices analyzed were 100% patched, which is less than 1%. Avast Business Patch Management takes 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 every Thursday. 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 seamlessly 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.
For Doug Whitfield, a one-person IT team for Edison Power Constructors, the time savings from using the Avast Business Patch Management service has allowed him to focus on other priorities and keep pace with the company’s growth. Based in Mesa, Arizona, the company builds, repairs, or restores power to electric transmission and distribution infrastructure throughout the U.S.
He said, “Our team works on a vast range of projects and is typically out in the field working in rural conditions, accessing laptops and mobile phones from double-wide trailers on the job site. I need to ensure any patch management strategy covers our remote, mobile workforce and gives me a way to monitor patch updates, automate patches, and continue to improve the process.
“Using the Avast Business Patch Management Service, I can now schedule and automate my patching from within the management console. I’ve improved my patch process by 100% and increased efficiency by at least 60%. The peace of mind knowing our network and endpoints are protected is the biggest outcome.”