The 7 Best Patch Management Software of 2023

If you’re an IT service provider looking for a Patch Management Software, how do you go about it? We’ve just made it easier for you - we chose the top 7 platforms in the market and compared them extensively against each other to bring you the best of the best. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

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While there seems to be an application for everything today, not every application is right for every organization. Selecting the right patch management software for your organization requires understanding the organization's needs and selecting the patch management tool that offers the closest feature match. The best patch management software has a wide variety of uses, depending on the scope of control needed by the organization.

Almost every organization needs to secure and patch servers, network gear, and other infrastructure, but endpoint patch management capabilities are also important for large enterprises and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) with multiple sites and thousands of computers and mobile devices to manage. There are several classes of tools to choose from:

  • Patch management software: Applications that focus on managing the workflows associated with patching all system types. These applications help manage a wide variety of operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux, UNIX, IOS, Android, and others, for example) and applications. They also provide workflows that manage the patch management process from identification through testing, approval, and deployment. Suppose the organization's primary need is patch management. In that case, it's important to be sure the patch management features within a larger suite offer all the features of a patch management application and manage all the operating systems needed.

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  • Vulnerability management software: These applications focus on the security management space and cyber-attacks by providing a database of known vulnerabilities along with the patches that fix these vulnerabilities. They can scan infrastructure and endpoints to identify where vulnerability patches are needed and manage them through the deployment process. If the organization already has a security operations group that uses a toolset built for security operations, the patch management application simply needs the ability to integrate with that tool and open work orders for patches needed as a result of a vulnerability management scan. Before opting for a more extensive suite that offers full security operations capabilities, the organization should ensure the security operations group is willing to make the change.

  • RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management) tools: Designed for large enterprises and MSPs, RMM software focuses on creating and managing device and software inventories and patching activities for these endpoints. Rather than focusing only on patching, they keep device management at the core, leveraging artificial intelligence to identify issues with device health, and then open work orders for technician attention. They also manage automated patching of these devices, including OS, application, and security patching, and provide service desk ticketing and self-service support. The best RMM solutions provide a single console from which technicians can manage devices and user support while leveraging integrations that open tickets from monitoring systems, vulnerability scanning products, and other patch management systems. Combining RMM capabilities with patch management features is a strong starting point for large organizations.

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Patch management software features

The best patch management tools will have various features to protect computing resources and manage their health. Common features to look for in patch management software include:

  • Ability to patch varied operating systems: Best-of-breed patch management tools will support Windows, Mac, Linux, IOS, and Android devices and may also offer the ability to manage a wide variety of device types, like servers, personal computers, and mobile devices.

  • Vulnerability management: Patch management software is a critical component for securing the enterprise by enabling the organization to manage hundreds of patches released to remediate vulnerabilities found in operating systems and applications.

  • Endpoint management: While many products focus on infrastructure, the best patch management software will also help manage endpoint devices, helping to ensure they are running the expected operating system and application versions and alerting technicians when they are not.

  • Governance tools: Even if the goal is ensuring safe and up-to-date management of the computing environment, organizations need to ensure compliance through reports and periodic audits in several primary areas:

    • Device compliance: Confirmation that every device is running acceptable versions for their operating system and applications running on the device, including any/all patches supplied by the vendors.

    • Reporting: Ability to run and review reports on the history of patch management activities, including missed devices, approvals, deployment dates, and other information the organization tracks as part of their program.

    • Exception management: A clear and documented process is being followed when software conflicts or testing indicate that a particular patch cannot run successfully on a particular device, including acceptance of the risk involved.

  • Service Desk support, including the ability to perform support operations and manage tickets through their patch management software, by having access to RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management) features that go beyond simple patch management. These features add several capabilities:

    • Asset Management: Full inventory of hardware and who is using it as well as the software and patches running on each device.

    • Ability to log tickets and investigate user-reported issues and use automated runbooks to ensure consistency of support or simple automated resolution.

    • Workflow to assist with support and patching, including the ability to track test results and gain approvals for patch deployment.

    • Features that enable the use of artificial intelligence to help manage device health by logging proactive tickets for devices that need attention.

    • Availability of dashboards that enable technicians to focus on the most critical activities first.

Two technical areas are important as well:

  • Scripting and script libraries for deployment automation

  • Ease of integration with external systems

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The ability to script policies or leverage a pre-existing library of scripts enables organizations to automate patch deployment for specific groups of endpoints. For example, Windows patches that have cleared the testing and approval process are automatically deployed every Wednesday between 2 am and 5 am. This level of automation reduces manual effort and helps IT personnel operate more effectively.

Integration features provide the ability to tie tools together. For example, if an organization already uses a security operations suite that maintains a database of known vulnerabilities and scans for these vulnerabilities within the computing environment, it won't need these capabilities in its patch management software. Instead, they need the ability to integrate with the security solution and open work orders within the patch management software to manage the patching of the vulnerabilities found.

To select the best patch management software, IT personnel must first assess which features are important for their patch management tool and evaluate products with their needs in mind. They may also find it helpful to consider the newer classes of patch management applications that combine patch management and remote monitoring and management toolsets to create a unified IT management platform.

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Finding the best patch management tool

SuperOps supports your need to select the best patch management software by researching other products on the market and comparing tool capabilities and costs to demonstrate our superiority over many other tools. We've compared the top patch management software and present that comparison to you here to help you find the patch management application that offers the features you need at the best value to the organization. We've looked at the complete feature sets of patch managers and RMM tools to enable you to select the patch management software that most closely matches your organization's needs. More than that, we're providing both a quick reference table comparing 7 patch management tools and a brief description of each product's strongest features.

Features addressed in this comparison include:

  • The cost structure for using the patch management software and whether it is subscription-based or based on the number of agents or endpoints

  • Availability of a free trial for any proof-of-concept needs

  • Operating systems and supported device types

  • Patch management features

  • Remote monitoring and management features

  • Reporting and governance

  • Service desk support

  • Billing support

  • SuperOps

    SuperOps is a right-sized platform that is more than a patch management tool. With robust patch managementRMM (Remote Monitoring and Management), and PSA (Professional Services Automation) features, SuperOps is a modern and innovative centralized endpoint management platform. Its patch management application supports Windows and macOS devices, third-party software management and patching, and uses artificial intelligence to create intelligent AI-powered alerts when endpoints face issues with performance. The RMM features of SuperOps enable organizations to manage hundreds of assets with customized patch management policies, automation of the patch management process from cataloging patches through testing, approval, and deployment, automated client backups, and the ability to generate tickets using artificial intelligence. 

    Patches identified by a security operations vulnerability and/or scanning service are easily imported, providing a single console for technicians. Policies supplement the ad hoc patch management features by enabling automation of endpoint patching workflows and deployment based on device type and OS. SuperOps goes beyond some of the other platforms in this space by including remote access to devices, RegEdit (registry editor), and file access capabilities on Windows platforms.

    As a PSA tool, SuperOps has a service desk, email, and self-service ticket management solution through IT documentation, tied into billing and other client management features, enabling full support of invoicing and internal financial management or MSA finance operations. An IT documentation library, robust reporting capabilities that include technician and compliance dashboards, and project management features complete this enterprise IT management platform's capabilities.

    Companies with an interest in the product can leverage a free trial to conduct a proof of concept and build a business case. The product is available for $29-99/per tech per month, depending on the modules purchased.  

    SuperOps provides all features needed for patch management in a large enterprise or MSP, along with some additional differentiating features organizations can benefit from. When it comes to software deployment, it can also manage patching for thousands of third-party applications, placing it above other patch management tools in its category. From a cost-feature perspective, this is the best of class for the patch management applications reviewed as it provides everything large enterprises or MSPs need to manage endpoint operations successfully and support end users with a proactive, automation-driven ap