Ivanti Extends Alliance With Qualys to Automate Patching Mac Endpoints

Ivanti and Qualys this week announced they have extended their alliance to now include a cloud-based patch management service for both MacOS and more than 70 third-party applications.

Nayaki Nayyar, executive vice president and chief product officer for Ivanti, said the two companies already have an alliance in place to address patch management on Windows systems. Both offerings take advantage of a Qualys Cloud Agent through which Qualys is driving the convergence of the management of IT and cybersecurity.

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Interest in driving that convergence is clearly rising in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Nayyar. Now that both end users and IT teams are working from home more regularly, there’s a need for more efficient approaches to managing and securing highly distributed IT environments, she noted.

The alliance with Qualys also extends the reach of Ivanti Neurons, an automation framework that enables IT teams to automate patch updates using bots developed by Ivanti or, conversely, enable end users to self-service patch updates on their own, added Nayyar. Ivanti claims early adopters of Ivanti Neurons have reduced unplanned outages by up to 63%, reduced time to deploy security updates by 88% and resolved up to 80% of endpoint issues before users reported them.

Ivanti also makes available a portal along with a natural language processing (NLP) engine through which IT teams can gather real-time intelligence on, for example, asset inventory and security configurations.

IT organizations generally have been slow to embrace automation even though most of them have been finding it difficult to hire and retain seasoned cybersecurity professionals. However, the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to force that issue. Ivanti and Qualys together are betting that, in addition to automating cybersecurity processes, more organizations will embrace platforms that enable them to leverage automation to converge the management of IT and cybersecurity.

The degree to which IT organizations will embrace that level of convergence naturally will vary. However, there are cybersecurity tasks involving patch management that are a natural extension of any IT service management (ITSM) platform. Give the number of applications and systems that are not being patched consistently in most organizations, it’s clear existing manual approaches to patch management are leaving much to be desired.

Less clear right now is the degree to which providers of ITSM and cybersecurity tools might ultimately converge. At the moment, alliances between vendors is the primary vehicle through which the convergence of ITSM and cybersecurity management is being driven. However, those alliances may turn out to only be a precursor for a wave of forthcoming acquisitions and mergers.

In the meantime, as IT environments become more diverse most organizations will inevitably rely more on IT automation. Most organizations simply can’t afford to have separate IT teams to manage, for example, Windows and macOS endpoints. The challenge now is figuring out how to manage a diverse range of endpoints that increasingly need to be managed remotely by IT teams that are just as dispersed as the rest of the organization.

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Michael Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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