Keeping up to date with patch management is an important part of any technology infrastructure.
Software patches are a vital aspect of keeping your systems secure and up to date, and keeping in control of those patches gives you peace of mind and the ability to efficiently handle any software upgrades or changes. Some patch management software will automate this upgrading and maintenance process for you, scanning your systems for programs and applications that require a patch, acquiring it, and installing it.
With budgetary constraints facing most IT departments, free software is always appealing. There are many options on the market, both open source programs and freeware versions of standalone paid software. For your organization, look for something that is easy to use, integrates with your technology and infrastructure, offers the kind of support you need, and improves how your company does its work. The good thing about free patch management software is that you can easily evaluate it without having to spend money!
These are a handful of our favorite free patch management software offerings.
For Windows PC users, PDQ Deploy is a free option that will deploy practically any Windows patch or application to many computers, simultaneously. It can be used for installations, executing scripts, rebooting, and more, and of course, that includes installing patches to your organization’s computers.
You can set some applications to download automatically and deploy on the schedule you set, so you can sit back and relax knowing that patches are heading out to the right places, without needing you to do it manually.
The free version of PDQ Deploy does not have quite the same amount of features as the paid version, but it may be a good fit for your business depending on your needs.
ITarian Patch Management
ITarian Patch Management is a program designed to combat the vulnerabilities of patches coming from multiple sources. With this free software, the IT department can identify where there are vulnerabilities that require patching, automatically update groups of tagged endpoints on a schedule, remotely deploy operating system updates for Windows and Linux machines, and use a dashboard system to get a top-down look at the system and its update requirements.
This program allows for prioritization of patches depending on various factors such as severity or type, and tracks and reports on all deployments or attempted changes. Users can perform testing to approve patches individually or in bulk.
Opsi as a Patch Management Choice
Opsi is an open source platform that can be used to automate patch deployment on Linux and Windows platforms. It will distribute updates, software packages, software configurations, Microsoft Hotfixes, and admin scripts using a client agent.
As an open source program support for opsi comes mainly from other users of the software, available through a forum in both English and German. This type of system may require a bit more technological know-how than a proprietary software from a vendor, but for those who want to use open source for all it offers, check opsi out.
Paessler’s PRTG Network Monitor monitors updates and patches to ensure that they are up to date. It works on any Windows operating system, including on mobile devices. PRGT sends automatic notifications of available patches and failed updates. It’s up to your IT administrators to actually install the patches, but PRTG is a simple, effective, and, of course, free way to get the process started.
The freeware version of this system offers 100 sensors, with each device you are running needing usually five to ten sensors, or one sensor per switch port.
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM, also known as ConfigMgr)
SCCM was developed by Microsoft for managing large groups of computers running Microsoft operating systems, as well as running Windows Phone, Symbian, iOS and Android mobile operating systems. SCCM provides remote control, patch management, software distribution, operating system deployment, network access protection and hardware and software inventory. If you are a Microsoft shop, chances are you already have access to these tools.
As a company committed to providing high-quality software products that aid in business process intelligence, profitability, and streamlined operations, we at GroupLink think that patch management software is a must-have for any organization using technology. It’s all too easy to ignore pop-ups and messages requesting an update be installed, which means that practically speaking, your business computers and devices are open to all kinds of problems. Automating patch management lets your staff do their work without having the opportunity to opt out of updates, and aids in ensuring that your systems are in full compliance with security practices and regulations.
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