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Endpoint Management Community Blog

Effective Patch Management = Less Vulnerability

Created: 19 Jul 2011 • Updated: 19 Jul 2011
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For years, it has been common knowledge that an effective patch management strategy is key to reducing software vulnerabilities exploited by malicious code. In fact, industry statistics show that 90 percent of successful attacks are perpetrated against previously known vulnerabilities in which a patch or secure configuration standard was already available from the software vendor[1].

So while most organizations know that they need an effective patch strategy, why is it that so many of them are still affected by vulnerabilities they could easily avoid? The answer to that question may forever remain unanswered. But for those organizations that recognize and act on the need for patch management, Symantec can assist them in meeting their security needs.

Altiris Client Management Suite 7.1 from Symantec now includes Altiris Patch Management Solution 7.1 SP1. The enhanced patch management solution helps by automating the detection and remediation of security vulnerabilities for multiple operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux, SUSE) and third-party Windows applications (Microsoft updates, Adobe applications, Java Runtime, common browsers and plug-ins, etc.). The extended patch management capabilities also provide visibility into newly released software updates and the means to identify computers susceptible to the vulnerabilities addressed by such updates.

Altiris Patch Management Solution 7.1 SP1 adds support for an additional 28 commonly used third-party Windows applications, beyond the three Adobe applications (Acrobat, Reader, and Flash) supported by the previous version of the product. The release also includes:  

  • Support for both security and non-security related updates (including service packs) for Microsoft applications and operating systems.
  • Improved IT Analytics with trend reporting capability that lets administrators track key performance indicators with respect to updates from both Microsoft and supported third-party vendors.
  • Ability to createa policy to distribute updates before the associated update packages are downloaded from the vendor, automatically downloading required packages as part of the policy creation process.
  • Simplified configuration with a First Time Setup Wizard.

The benefits of utilizing a patch management solution include an incredible ROI. For example, according to a Forrester® Consulting commissioned study on the benefits of deploying Altiris technology, customers realized quantified benefits and savings of $7.3 million over three years in a number of key areas, including labor savings of $1 million in patch management by more effectively distributing and enforcing patch levels. To learn more about these and other savings read the full report online.

For additional details regarding the Altiris Patch Management Solution 7.1 SP1, Michael Grueber, senior product manager of Endpoint Management at Symantec, provides an overview of the broader patch coverage in a podcast on the topic.

[1]Gartner, “Managing the Next-Generation Desktop,” by Terrence Cosgrove, October 2010