ManageSoft Corporation, a world leader in software configuration management solutions, today unveiled an upgraded version of its client-centric security patch management solution, called ManageSoft® Security Patch Management™ 6.6, to help companies combat the crippling effects of computer viruses and worms such as SoBig and Blaster. New features and capabilities include continuous monitoring of Microsoft’s site for security patches, automatic and selective patch downloads, and policy-based deployment.

ManageSoft Security Patch Management 6.6 is the quickest and most reliable way to automatically deploy security patch updates to PC desktops, servers and mobile devices across an enterprise in order to ensure that managed devices are always protected from computer attacks. The rapid and recent increase in cyber-attacks has forced companies to quickly deploy automated and policy-based security solutions, such as patch management software, to help overcome this growing problem.

The ManageSoft product automatically self-heals applications and provides up-to-the-minute reporting on the status of enterprise-wide security patch protection. By automating patch management, companies will be able to significantly reduce staffing and downtime costs and proactively protect themselves against outbreaks that exploit security vulnerabilities in operating systems and applications.

Increasingly, many new iterations of viruses and worms are created after a known vulnerability is published, causing IT patch management inconsistencies on desktops and devices. Organizations that manually deploy new patches and fixes are the most susceptible to attack by “copy-cat” viruses because devices are not updated in time to fight off variants. The ManageSoft Security Patch Management product uses a “smart-agent” architecture that enables IT administrators and managers to simply set policies to automatically deploy new patches across an organization as soon as they become available — saving their companies in PC and mobile device security management costs. Security experts maintain that companies need to automate the process of updating their computers with the latest security patches to protect against new viruses.

Ronni Colville, research director at Gartner states software configuration management solutions are the answer. “Patch management is a subset of the overall configuration management process. Software configuration management solutions that provide policy-based automation of software management processes on desktops, laptops, and servers throughout an organization can deliver considerable IT saving that are not possible with labor-intensive task-based systems,” said Colville.

Unlike competing products, ManageSoft Security Patch Management is client-centric and rapidly deploys and manages anti-virus applications and OS security patches to local and remote computer systems even over low bandwidth and unreliable networks. Other differentiating features include:

-- Continuous Web-based monitoring of MicrosoftÂ’s download site for updated security patches;

-- Automatic and selective downloads of patches;

-- Policy-based deployment of patches for immediate installation on enterprise-wide PCs, servers and devices;

-- Web-based reports of security patch vulnerability, compliance and installation status;

-- Tight integration with Microsoft Active Directory and can scale up or down.

“It is estimated that the damage caused by viruses may amount to more than $13 billion by the end of this year,” said Walter Elliot, CEO of ManageSoft . “Viruses are becoming more dangerous and causing major disruptions in the workplace. Having an automated security patch management solution in place helps companies reduce their risk and enhance the stability and reliability of their IT infrastructure.”

ManageSoft Security Patch Management prevents future attacks by monitoring MicrosoftÂ’s site for new patches, lists the ones available via a user interface, and controls which ones to download, test and roll out into your production environment.