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Patching technology gets a push

Two software makers with a Windows focus, NetIQ and BindView, are releasing products that blend patch management with vulnerability assessment.

There is a strong need for patch management today, but as IT administrators become better at patching, they are discovering they require more visibility into systems throughout their organizations.

To meet this need, some of the largest Windows management and security vendors are releasing products that marry both patching and vulnerability assessment. This week, both BindView Corp., and NetIQ Corp. presented software that integrates both capabilities, though each on a different scale. Both companies are also using technology from Roseville, Minn.-based Shavlik Technologies LLC to provide

… patch management is a core component of risk management.

Paul Proctor, VP,

Meta Group

some of their patching capability.

"The importance of patch management is undeniable," said Paul Proctor, security and risk strategies vice president at Meta Group, a Stamford, Conn., IT consulting firm. "Vendors that build risk management systems don't have patch management, but patch management is a core component of risk management, so it's no surprise that NetIQ and BindView are adding these capabilities."

BindView, of Houston, this week released a closed-loop patch audit feature that promises to help IT administrators shore up their servers.

The company also made available a patch assessment capability with a new version of its vulnerability assessment software, bv-Control for Windows. Both are companion products to BindView Patch Deployment, which was also released this week, but is sold separately.

The closed-loop audit, or, what some

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consultants call remediation capabilities, lets information be passed back so that the vulnerability assessment tool can determine whether an applied patch "took," said Charles Kolodgy, an analyst at International Data Corp., Framingham, Mass.

BindView also said customers can now use third-party distribution tools to package and deploy patches.

San Jose, Calif.-based NetIQ has released an overarching set of security software that includes patch management and security assessment capabilities. The package has three components -- Security Manager 5.0, for intrusion prevention and monitoring; Vulnerability Manager 5.0; and Patch Manager 4.2. The software will be released this summer.

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