Crisis or not, keeping endpoints patched against known and emerging vulnerabilities remains one of the top challenges IT admins face. With the new work-from-home norm in response to COVID-19, patch management sounds next to impossible for many IT admins.

Leaving your endpoints unpatched can have serious implications on network security, even when endpoints are within a controlled corporate perimeter. Now that your remote users are relying on the internet for remote work, patching machines is no longer optional.

Now, remote patch management does not come without complications. To start, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you equipped to maintain complete visibility over a remote workforce spread across the globe?

  • What’s your strategy to scan and deploy patches to remote users who log on and off of your network?

  • Does your VPN offer enough bandwidth for pushing out patches to your remote machines?

  • What if untimely patching impedes important business calls and meetings?

  • Have you ensured that the remote user experience isn’t impaired by repeated alerts and random reboots?

  • How do you install a critical patch when a user keeps denying patch updates?

  • Most of all, how secure is your connection between the patching server and your remote client?

 Now, before you break out in a cold sweat, know that remote patch management can indeed be a breeze if you have the right tools at your disposal. If you’re looking for one, you’re in the right place: ManageEngine offers three separate solutions, any of which can equip you with everything you need to facilitate patching for your remote workforce.

ManageEngine’s remote patch management solutions

Take a closer look at each of our offerings, and pick the one that suits your organization best.

Desktop Central

A complete unified endpoint management solution to meet all your endpoint management and security needs. From deploying an operating system to performing all management and security activities like patching and troubleshooting endpoints with modern management capabilities, you can do it all from one single console. Learn more.

Patch Manager Plus

A tool built exclusively to automate the entire patch management process. From scanning for missing patches to downloading, testing, and deploying them to target machines, everything can be orchestrated from a central console. Learn more.

Vulnerability Manager Plus

A prioritization-focused threat and vulnerability management solution with built-in comprehensive patching. Delivers all the patching capabilities of Patch Manager Plus and offers an extensive array of security features, including security configuration management, web server hardening, end of life auditing, active port auditing, and elimination of high-risk software. Vulnerability Manager Plus is also available as an add-on for Desktop Central. Learn more.

Now that we’ve covered the available tools, let’s dive right into how they can help you overcome remote patching complexities.

Uninterrupted visibility and control with agent-based technology

Forget location constraints; all our patching tools leverage advanced, multipurpose agents, offering the uninterrupted visibility you need to manage remote laptops, desktops, servers, and virtual machines across your entire global hybrid IT environment. From scanning to deployment, everything will be silently carried out with the help of lightweight agents.

Eliminate VPN constraints

Resorting to the limited bandwidth of VPN gateways for remote patch management activities can result in bottlenecks. Instead, have your remote clients download the essential patches from trusted vendors directly no matter where they are. You can also keep them patched around the clock using remote agents; using these, you won’t have to wait for remote clients to log on to your network via VPN.

Deliver the latest patches with zero disruption to employee productivity

Don’t let your patching routines interrupt C-level executives’ important video calls. Instead, have patches deployed to specific users during system startup to ensure their OS and applications remain current without any interruptions.

Maintain a great user experience while ensuring endpoint security

It’s good practice to have your remote users notified before patch deployment and post-patching reboots, but you don’t want to drive your remote users crazy with repeated pop-ups every five minutes. Give them the flexibility to postpone patch deployments and subsequent reboots, and delay notifications until a time they choose.

 While giving users the flexibility to postpone patches and reboots, you can also ensure they’re only postponed for so long by implementing a time limit for when deployment will happen automatically. Furthermore, you can configure flexible schedules for patch deployment and customize reboots to happen only on weekends to avoid irritating your remote employees.

Establish a secure channel for remote patching

By configuring the WAN agents of remote clients to access our product servers via a secure gateway, you can secure your patch management server and its contents from threat actors.

Boundless accessibility and central management

Our solutions are web-based, meaning you can access them with just a browser and internet connectivity from anywhere across the globe, and execute all patch management tasks right from a central console.

End-to-end automation

With zero intervention from your remote users, you can automate the entire cycle of remote patch management, from detecting missing patches, downloading them from vendor sites, and testing them for stability, to finally deploying them to your remote machines.

 All the capabilities mentioned so far are baked into each of our remote patch management solutions. Additionally, our patch management solutions offer these other essential capabilities:

  • Support for Windows, macOS, Linux, and over 350 third-party applications

  • Support for Active Directory domains as well as workgroup-based networks

  • Automated testing and approval process

  • Option to decline problematic patches

  • Interactive dashboards

  • Role-based access

  • Two-factor authentication

  • Data backup and recovery

  • Failover server

 What’s more exciting is that the fully functional trials of all three products are available free for 30 days. So what are you waiting for? Grab one of our patch management tools, and keep your remote users’ machines patched around the clock.

 Also, if you’re looking to learn more about endpoint management and security essentials for your remote workforce, dive right into the ultimate hub of resources and solutions we have collated for you.