We’ve all been caught by those pesky pop-up windows prompting us to update a program or device that we use. Businesses must frequently update and/or patch parts of their information technology system in order to keep things secure. Plus, the use of multiple devices and platforms opens doors for a variety of cyber-attacks that can put company data at risk.

Many companies choose to work with managed service providers (MSPs) who oversee the most critical elements of the business’ IT infrastructure. MSPs don’t just help with set up and troubleshooting, they also take care of software updates and provide patch management.

Updates vs. Patches:

While patches and updates often have a similar result, they each serve a unique purpose.

Software Updates:

Updates are intended to enhance a software, program, or device. Typically, updates focus on adding new or upgraded features and functionalities, but they can also offer other benefits, like additional security patches.

Patch Management:

Patches are software updates designed specifically to fix security vulnerabilities or bugs. This improves the usability and performance of a program or operating system. Software patches also serve to protect a system against cyber-attacks and keep data secure.

Hackers look for vulnerabilities or holes in a program or operating system. When they find a weakness, they write a code to target it, which is packaged into malicious software (malware). Malware can give attackers control over your device, access to your data, or allow them to encrypt files. Patches help improve cyber security by repairing security holes to prevent these attacks.

MSPs and Patch Management:

Patches are typically installed manually device by device. This is time consuming, but the right MSP can simplify the patch management process.

MSPs can help with:

  • Inventory: Effective patch management begins with asset management. It is very difficult to install relevant patches and updates if your MSP does not have an accurate inventory. A thorough inventory includes information on: operating systems, version types, IP addresses, et cetera.
  • Automation: Automating the patch management process wherever possible helps save time and resources. Helpful tools include: remote monitoring and management (RMM), patch management tools, patch deployment software, and all-in-one software. Automated patch management tools can send live alerts to keep you informed and are often more reliable and accurate that manual patches. MSPs have ready access to these tools.
  • Planning: Patches are often released unexpectedly in response to newly discovered vulnerabilities. However, there are routine updates that your MSP can plan for. For example, Microsoft releases software updates on the second Tuesday of every month. They call this “Patch Tuesday.” A good MSP will track both regular updates and patch announcements from major software vendors.

Reliable MSPs:

Kapp Communications is a secure and reliable IT support managed services provider. Since 1984, we have been partnering with local businesses to provide IT security, IT consulting, and more. Our services include: 24/7/365 monitoring, hardware and software audits, email and application support, patch management, software updates, and more.

Our company is one of the leading managed services providers in Pittsburgh, PA. Plus, with our pricing program there are no surprises. We provide all-inclusive support. Contact a sales representative today to learn more about our affordable IT solutions.