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Patch Management Best Practices: 5 Tips for MSPs

Author: Christian Nagele, GM, Autotask Endpoint Management, now part of Datto.

Are you contractually obligated to provide patching and software update services to your clients? If yes, how successfully are you delivering those services? Are you confident that every device you are responsible for is patched and secure? More importantly, are you delivering the service profitably, and can you report on it effectively? No longer is it sufficient to just do the patching, you need to PROVE to your customers you are doing it.

If you’re hedging a little about any of these questions, perhaps it’s time to re-think your patch management approach?

If you are not currently offering and delivering patch management to your customers, you are not only missing a revenue-generating opportunity, but leaving your customers wide open to cybersecurity incidents. Cyberthreats are now on the radar of EVERY company and individual, and the realization that unpatched machines with Microsoft and third-party software are massively vulnerable to cyberthreats means effective patch management now needs to be at the heart of every MSP’s service offering.

For many MSPs, however, effective patch management – and certainly a service that can be delivered profitably – remains elusive. So a few tips:

1. Policy-based: Your patch management needs to be policy-driven, with ‘rules’ set globally, to increase the efficiency and standardization of your patch management service.

2. Overrides and exceptions: There is always the ‘exceptional’ clients, so it is key for you to be able to easily create, manage and report on these exceptions.

3. Patch status: To get immediate, real-time insight into the patch status of your estate, you need clear definitions of patch status.

4. Remediation: When things get real (think WannaCry), you need the ability to react immediately, to have a platform in place enabling you to get patches out there fast.

5. Reporting: Delivering patch management is one thing. Reporting on the effectiveness of your service – internally and to your clients – is another. You need to be able to prove to your clients that you are delivering, and do so automatically and therefore profitably.

If an effective delivery and management solution is holding you back, I have great news for you: Autotask Endpoint Management has world-class patch management capabilities and is unrivaled in its functionality, flexibility, simplicity and scalability. And the best part, it is fully integrated into Autotask PSA.

At Autotask, we are here to help MSPs and IT Service Providers get massively pumped for patch. To learn more, contact sales@autotask.com for more information or to set up a demo.


Christian Nagele is general manager, Autotask Endpoint Management, which is now part of Datto. Read more Autotask blogs here.

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