Ewan Spence

I talk about tech n' stuff

Patch Tuesday Being Eliminated

patch tuesday supportIf you’re a Windows user, you’re probably already well familiar with “patch Tuesday.”  If not, a refresher: the second Tuesday of every month, Microsoft releases all of the programming patches released over the last month.  This has allowed users to fix security issues on a regular basis and to (almost) keep up with security breaches and hacker innovation if you didn’t already have managed IT services.  With the release of the new Windows 10 OS, users will no longer have to wait a full month between updates.

 

The Details

First and foremost, the new technology applies only to Windows 10.  This means that users who opt out of upgrading to the new OS won’t get the same perks.  Fortunately, at least for a while, they will be able to continue to use the old system.  No one’s really sure how long the back-up will be available.  Microsoft tends to phase out obsolete tech pretty quickly, so no new patches may be one way they steer reluctant users toward the new Windows 10 version.

Those with Windows 10 will be able to update and patch as soon as they’re available, which can save users from weeks of vulnerability.

 

The Downsides

While this may seem like a universally beneficial plan, experts believe there could be some drawbacks as well.   One of the biggest is that enterprises will choose when to apply patches.  This could mean that if someone’s not paying attention, vital updates may get missed.  Windows Update is striving to prevent this from becoming an issue, but at this point it could result in uneven application of patches.

Why not just patch entire enterprises at once?  In a word: compatibility.  When you have an intricate back office system, it’s always possible that a patch is going to be incompatible or otherwise cause you functionality issues.  If a patch is applied to the entirety of an enterprise and something goes wrong, you can find yourself suddenly and totally out of commission.  This is why the standard operating procedure is to start small and work out bugs before changing the entire system.

 

The Resistance

Despite Microsoft’s concerted efforts to keep their programs safe and efficient for users, hackers have long-exploited any known vulnerabilities.  Every month, as new patches were released, hackers spent the next few days exploiting the now-known discrepancies and trying to stay one step ahead of users.

Concerned consumers worry that with this new delay in updating and patching security issues, hackers will have an even better opportunity to get in the back door, so to speak.

Consumers will likely find themselves dealing with a learning curve, particularly business consumers.  Of course, internet security is never 100%.  For this reason, it is always advisable to keep your internet firewall and antivirus software up to date.

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Updated: July 20, 2015 — 7:13 pm

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