Coming Soon: Patch Management for Smartphones

With the advent of cell phone viruses and Bluetooth worms, it was bound to happen. PatchLink is readying an upgrade to its eponymous flagship patch management tool aimed at adding patch support for smartphones and wireless PDAs.

Beginning in the third quarter, PatchLink Update will provide sophisticated patch management and remediation capabilities for popular wireless platforms, including Microsoft Windows Mobile, Symbian, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry and Palm OS, according to a company spokesperson.

“Each of these platforms will have agent-based support for advanced patch management, configuration-based vulnerability remediation, and reporting [and] audit capabilities to handle organizational and regulatory compliancy requirements,” the spokesperson says. It will also provide asset inventory and reporting of wireless devices, including hardware and software version/configuration.

The Scottsdale, Ariz. company says it will add subscriptions to its existing patch and vulnerability remediation subscription service for each of the target smartphone and PDA platforms. The patches and remediations will be made available via customers’ PatchLink Update servers.

“Administrators will then use the same processes and tools [that] they use for managing desktops and servers today, to manage wireless devices, including assessment, testing, deployments, monitoring, auditing, inventory and reporting,” says the spokesperson. “This will enable organizations to extend advanced protection to these devices quickly with minimal disruption and training costs.”

Support for the various wireless platforms will come out in staged releases in third and fourth quarters of 2005, the company says. Pricing has not yet been announced, but PatchLink’s existing service for Windows computers costs $18 per month per computer.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.