Point product or management suite?

As agency officials look for products to speed up the task of applying security patches to system software, they can choose between stand-alone products that focus solely on automated patching or systems management suites that perform other functions besides patching.

The choices they make may be based on the software infrastructure for their particular agency, industry experts say.

"Patch management is a software distribution problem," said Mark Nicolett, a vice president at Gartner Inc.'s research division. So, the question to ask, he said, is: "Does the organization have software distribution employed and, if so, does it have the capability for patch management?" Also, they should consider how effective the software distribution system is, because there are a fair number of ineffective distribution solutions.

If an organization doesn't have a good software distribution infrastructure, then a stand-alone automated patch management product may be the way to go, he noted. Such tools can be deployed quickly and are not complex to configure, Nicolett said.

Several of the leading players that offer products that focus solely on patching include Big Fix Inc., PatchLink Corp., Shavlik Technologies LLC and St. Bernard Software Inc.

Some of the companies that provide either configuration or systems management suites that also include automated patching capabilities include Altiris Inc., ConfigureSoft Inc., Computer Associates International Inc., Ecora, LANDesk Software Ltd., and Opsware Inc.

Rising Stars

Meet 21 early-career leaders who are doing great things in federal IT.

Featured

  • SEC Chairman Jay Clayton

    SEC owns up to 2016 breach

    A key database of financial information was breached in 2016, possibly in support of insider trading, said the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DOD looks to get aggressive about cloud adoption

    Defense leaders and Congress are looking to encourage more aggressive cloud policies and prod reluctant agencies to embrace experimentation and risk-taking.

  • Shutterstock / Pictofigo

    The next big thing in IT procurement

    Steve Kelman talks to the agencies that have embraced tech demos in their acquisition efforts -- and urges others in government to give it a try.

  • broken lock

    DHS bans Kaspersky from federal systems

    The Department of Homeland Security banned the Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab’s products from federal agencies in a new binding operational directive.

  • man planning layoffs

    USDA looks to cut CIOs as part of reorg

    The Department of Agriculture is looking to cut down on the number of agency CIOs in the name of efficiency and better communication across mission areas.

  • What's next for agency cyber efforts?

    Ninety days after the Trump administration's executive order, FCW sat down with agency cyber leaders to discuss what’s changing.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group