A patchy channel

Downtime: one word to strike fear into the hearts of even the hardiest IT manager.

Avoiding downtime at pretty much all costs is the name of the game now. However, with the reliance on Microsoft products and their attendant regular security updates, some downtime will inevitably be necessary to roll out patches to keep systems secure.

The problem is that the more updates there are, the more downtime is needed to update and install patches. This can be a challenge for customers, but for IT service providers and managed services companies it can be a real headache. Invariably, your customers have a very limited window where systems can be taken offline to install patches.

“Do your own research and don’t be afraid to look elsewhere when advising customers about patches and security vulnerabilities.” – Ashley Leonard, President and CEO of Verismic

This is all well and good when there are only a few patches, such as in Microsoft’s January update, but when there are a large number (generally eight or more), it can be a real challenge. Microsoft has its own rating system for its patches: critical, important, moderate, and low.

On a typical Patch Tuesday we will see a small number rated critical, and the rest are invariably rated important. If taken at face value, you’d presume to roll out critical patch updates first, and work down the list.

But what may be a critical patch for one of your customers could in fact be almost unnecessary for others due to the different systems they use.

Read the full article on channelweb.co.uk