In the previous blog on Patch Management, we discussed what Patch Management is, how it is a fundamental part of an IT Professional’s life and why it’s so important to have a proper Patch Management Software tool that ensures that strict preventive measures are taken against potential threats.
In this blog, we will look at Atera’s Patch Management Software capabilities, both manual and automated, which provide full-blown coverage from potential cyber-attacks.
Search and Deploy Patches
Let’s begin by looking at the Live Manage – Patch Management option. This can be found in the Devices section in the Atera UI – either at high level for all devices – or per individual agent on a device. Using this Patch Management Software option, you can search for patches and install them in real time on the devices. The Patches information screen allows you to choose to display the date the patch was installed on – which can be helpful when devising new security protocol.
Save time by scheduling maintenance tasks!
In order to stay ahead of the curve, Atera also enables you to schedule programmed Patch Management software tasks. This can be found in the UI under Admin > Patch Management and IT Automation. The Patch Management and IT Automation capability allows you to create and schedule Daily, Weekly and Monthly periodic maintenance tasks. Each Patch Management & IT Automation profile is made up of one or more Tasks. These Tasks can be scheduled for Servers and Workstations. An example of such a task is Install Java Update. By allowing you and your team to schedule, for example, Critical Patch Updates on a frequent basis, Atera essentially frees up your time allowing you to concentrate on other aspects of your job.
Stay informed and proactive!
Atera also boasts three separate Reports on Patch Management Software enabling you to be both informed and proactive against threats. The reports can be run on an ad-hoc basis or can be scheduled on both a weekly or monthly schedule and sent either to technicians or to contacts. This provides you with basically unlimited possibilities of direct communication with your customers so that everybody is on the same page regarding potential threats and fixes.
Keep up to date with Microsoft Patches
The first report is called the Patch Search & Deploy Report and it allows you to both generate reports based on patch Microsoft KBs, and install missing patches with one click. Note that KB (Knowledge Base) is the prefix for all Microsoft patches e.g. KB3115858 is the patch code for Security Update for Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems. The report gives you the flexibility to search for patches for a specific Customer, KB, KB Description, and Agent type. Once the report is generated you can filter the data by patch status, and patch type. But best of all, you can install pending patches DIRECTLY from within the report itself with a single click.
See all Missing Patches in one Report
Next up, we have the Patch Status Summary report which provides useful summary information on the status of patches. This report displays the following information in a visual chart format for both servers and desktops:
· Overall Summary – Displays both agents that are generally up-to-date and agents that are not up-to-date.
· Vulnerability – Displays Agents and how many Patches are missing in each Agent.
· Missing Patches – Displays Patches and how many Agents are missing each Patch.
Get Feedback on Tasks Run
The final report in Atera’s Patch Management Software suite is the Patch and Automation Feedback Report. This basically provides feedback on what tasks were completed within a selected IT Automation Profile which we discussed above in the Admin > Patch Management and IT Automation paragraph.
The process includes both an email sent automatically once a Task is completed which shows a short summary text and the report below that is useful for validating in detail that scheduled profile tasks have been completed successfully e.g. Microsoft patch successfully installed.
The Report displays the following information:
· Profiles in Report: The number of IT Automation Profiles included in the report.
· Tasks Run: The total number of Tasks run in the reporting period.
· Agents in Report: The total number of discreet Agents included in the reporting period.
· Task Success Rate: The total percentage of tasks that were completed successfully in the reporting period.
· Status Unknown Tasks: The total number of tasks in the reporting period that did not return a status due to being unreachable (Agent offline, connectivity issue, firewall etc.)
With all the tools available to you and your team, Atera is sure that the tools provided will grant you both flexibility and standardized protocols for ensuring that the software at your clients sites is always up-to-date and that patches are installed as necessary.