Mac patch management

Mac patch management involves managing your macOS endpoints by gathering a complete list of all the missing patches through a scan, downloading the missing patches, testing them in non-production machines, and finally rolling them out into the production environment for deployment. Patching your Mac devices enhances the security level of your macOS environment.

This document talks about the following:

Patching macOS machines with Patch Manager Plus

The use of Mac operating systems in enterprises has been growing at a faster rate in recent years. With limited manpower, IT teams find it a challenge to patch all Mac security updates and third-party updates manually. This highlights the need for a Mac patch management tool.

Patch Manager Plus detects macOSs that require a patch to fix a vulnerability and groups the patches by severity ranging from critical to low. With Patch Manager Plus, you can quickly assess the health of your IT environment by glancing at the System Health Policy. You can patch critical vulnerabilities either through Manual Deployment or by using the Automated Patch Deployment feature.

Learn more about configuring Mac agents with Patch Manager Plus.

Supported macOS versions

Patch Manager Plus supports patch management for the following versions of macOS:

* OS marked as EOL by the vendor. Hence, we don't support patching for these versions.

  • OS X 12 - Monterey
  • OS X 11 - Big Sur
  • OS X 10.15 - Catalina
  • OS X 10.14 - Mojave*
  • OS X 10.13 - High Sierra*
  • OS X 10.12 - Sierra*
  • OS X 10.11 - El Capitan*
  • OS X 10.9 - Mavericks*
  • OS X 10.10 - Yosemite*
  • OS X 10.8 - Mountain Lion*
  • OS X 10.7 - Lion*
  • OS X 10.6 - Snow Leopard*

What are the strategies involved in Mac Patch Management?

You can patch your Mac machines either by deploying patches manually or by automating this process using a patch management solution. However, always make sure that the patches are tested thoroughly in a test environment before deploying them to your production environment.

How to manually patch your Mac systems?

You can deploy patches manually to your Mac machines by going to the App Store and checking for new updates. If your computer is updated to the latest version of macOS, the store will display a message telling you that your computer is up-to-date. If there are any missing updates, you'll get a pop-up asking if you would like to install the updates now.
You can choose the option that best suits you. Please note that when you want to download third-party updates for Mac, you have two ways of doing it:

  • Downloading the third-party updates manually whenever they're released.
  • Enabling Automatic Updates for each application, so that when updates are available they'll automatically be downloaded. (This, however, may consume a lot of bandwidth, which could deteriorate your network's efficiency.)

Why do you need an automated Mac patch management software?

Manual deployment can often be tedious, error-prone, and time-consuming. For example, let's say you have 1,000 systems in your network and a patch needs to be downloaded for every computer. Can you imagine the bandwidth this would consume? This is where automation comes in handy.

Patch Manager Plus is a software patching tool that offers complete automation with its Automated Patch Deployment (APD) feature.

How does this automated Mac patch management software work?

Patch Manager Plus provides unified, real-time visibility, management, and deployment of patches to all Mac endpoints from a single console. This Mac patch management software provides you with a complete list of inventories on the missing patches, and it allows you to decide how and when you wish to deploy them with the deployment policies feature. So, you can customize deployment based on what works best for you. By providing complete automation, your Mac clients can stay up-to-date with the latest Mac security updates for macOS and applications.

To patch your Mac machines:

  • Schedule a patch scan - First, go to the Patch Manager Plus console and navigate to Systems > Scan Systems to scan for missing patches in your network.
  • Choose deployment policies - Based on the severity of the missing patches, prioritize missing patches with an important or critical severity level. You can patch your machines through either one of these two methods:
    • Manual deployment by creating a patch configuration.
    • You can use the Automated Patch Deployment feature if you want the patching process to be completely automated. To allow the APD feature to patch your machines in the next available deployment window, you have to approve the patches at first.
  • Test and approve- You should always test patches before rolling them out to the production environment. For patches that are low or moderate in severity, you'll have time to test those patches in a non-production environment. If they don't cause any problems post-deployment, then they can be rolled out to the production environment.
  • Patch/system reports - In the Patch Manager Plus console, go to Reports > System Health Report to see how your systems are performing post-deployment. The predefined patch management reports show you the patch status of your systems among other things, allowing you to quickly ascertain the security of your network.

Explore a fully-featured online demo of our patch management software. This demo version gives you insights on the different modules of our patching tool.

What are the benefits of Mac patch management using Patch Manager Plus?

Some of the benefits of using Patch Manager Plus are:

  • Compliance - Every IT organization dreams of achieving 100 percent patch compliance in their networks. This can be achieved by compliance management, which involves checking the health status of your systems, patching them, and finally analyzing the patch compliance report to check if you've reached your goal.
  • Centralized patch management - Patch Manager Plus help you manage multiple Macs devices running different OS versions, all from a central point of control, providing your end users with greater visibility.
  • Precise reporting - Powerful reports are just a click away. Streamline everything you need to know about your patch status, and gain insights on your day-to-day patching tasks, so you can prevent a successful cyberattack.

View the full list of Mac applications supported by Patch Manager Plus.