WSUS vs. SCCM: Which Is The Best Way To Go For Security Patching?


The biggest challenge for any organization is to pick the right management product that will keep resources up to date. Understanding the differences between these products can sometimes be confusing. But for any large company, SCCM will be the better option. It will help the organization empower user productivity, asset intelligence, centralized IT infrastructure management, and endpoint protection. It is the most popular solution to track the deployment of the hardware running on windows, protect the network, update the software installed, etc. SCCM training will help you in understanding SCCM more clearly and using it efficiently. But there is another solution called WSUS that has the same capabilities as SCCM. Let us learn about these two solutions and understand the best way to go for security patching.

What is SCCM?

SCCM stands for System Center Configuration Manager. It is a product developed by Microsoft for the management of systems connected over a corporate network. It allows us to manage Windows, Linux, Mac OS, or UNIX systems along with mobile Operating systems like Android, Windows, iOS, and Symbian. It allows the administrators to manage the security and deployment of applications and devices over an enterprise. SCCM also offers remote control, software distribution, patch management, network access protection, operating system deployment, software, and hardware inventory. SCCM will deploy the OS and install applications On the client system and update the system continuously with patches based on the templates. It assists IT, teams, to utilize standardization across all the systems within the network.

What is WSUS?

WSUS stands for Windows Server Update Services that is formerly called Software Update service. It is an application developed by Microsoft allows the administrators to manage the updates and patches for the products of Microsoft Software on their network computers. It helps in updating a wide range of applications and applications related to Microsoft. WSUS also analyzes the system and determines what updates are required and helps the users to manage the downloads. Generally, it is useful for small to medium-sized businesses as WSUs act as an intermediate between simple windows updates and the most robust system management server.


Both the products are developed by Microsoft, and they both are patch management solutions. Both of them are On-premise patch management solutions that are focused on Microsoft products and Windows OS. But there are differences between the two solutions. WSUS is a free tool that works for Windows Operating systems and organizations of any size, while SCCM is a paid tool that is suitable for only large organizations that run on windows. WSUS satisfies the requirements of Windows OS at a very basic level. SCCM provides expanded tools to control endpoint visibility and patch deployment. However, SCCM delivers a pathway for patching other OS and third-party applications, but still, it is not satisfactory. Though both the products have the same capabilities, there are some situations in which one product is more appropriate than the other product. Knowing when to use them will help our organization use the best management solution that protects from vulnerabilities.

When To Use SCCM?

SCCM is a paid tool for patch management. It depends on WSUS for checking and applying patches. It offers more features and allows the users to control when and how patches are deployed. SCCM has some advantages over WSUM. Only large organizations can use it. But still, companies face some issues while using SCCM for patch management. SCCM has many functions that will benefit the user, like more control on patch deployment, control on windows machines on the network, and the ability to generate reports. It also offers endpoint protection tools. If SCCM is configured correctly, it is sufficient for patch management of systems that run on windows. As SCCM is a Microsoft product, it will integrate well with Windows systems and Microsoft applications. SCCM may not be suitable for every organization for patching. To manage non-windows OS and third-party applications, the abilities of SCCM are limited. Hybrid infrastructure requires manual patching with SCCM. IT Managers face many problems while using SCCM for patching third-party applications. Third-party tools may represent up to 76 percent of vulnerabilities found on an average PC. SCCM is expensive for an organization. It does not even fulfill the requirements of the organization. For providing centralized management of resources, SCCM offers solutions for Software distribution, Remote control, Network access protection, Deploying OS, Patch management, software, and hardware inventory.

When To Use WSUS?

WSUS is a free tool. So any organization, irrespective of its size, can use it. For the companies that cannot go for SCCM, WSUS offers some patching automation without any initial costs. There are hidden costs in WSUS that include time spent on system troubleshooting and other additional charges for non-windows OS users to acquire alternative patching and third-party tools. As WSUS is a Microsoft product, there will not be any problems in Windows systems. If the configuration is done correctly, then WSUS will patch the systems semi-automatically. For any business that runs on Microsoft infrastructure, WSUS will minimize the manual labour needed for patching. WSUS can fix the vulnerabilities in only the Windows Operating systems. To handle patching for third-party applications, the abilities of WSUS are limited. It also lacks network visibility and reporting. Third-party applications like Java and Adobe are attractive options for attackers because they are the home for unpatched vulnerabilities. WSUS has some ways to patch these applications but is highly difficult to configure, and updates catalogs are difficult to follow.


Both WSUS and SCCM are the products of Microsoft that allow the organization to keep your softwares and system up to date. Though both the products are meant for the same, there will be some situations where one product is appropriate for your organization. And in this post, we have seen when to use WSUS and SCCM. For small organizations, it is easy to make a choice. But for the organisations that are in a situation to decide which software to use, the best solution is to determine the software by considering business assets inventory, understanding your organisation’s objectives and knowing your growth plans. SCCM will be better if you configure it correctly and use its added features. Otherwise, you can use WSUS. Either WSUS or SCCM, whatever you use, you get third-party patch management integrated smoothly and continuously.

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