Use BOLD when you mark next Tuesday on your patch calendar-- that's when Microsoft is releasing the biggest patch array ever: 13 patches addressing close to 3 dozen vulnerabilities.The upcoming Patch Tuesday -- Tuesday the 13th -- will be the largest in Microsoft's history, with more than a dozen patches, the majority of them labeled critical, dealing with dozens of vulnerabilities in Windows (including Windows7), Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, SQL Server, as well as developer tools and the enterprise-level Forefront Security.
Even in light of some large patch deployments in recent years, this one is big.
A glance at Microsoft's Advance Notification Bulletin shows why.
The number of Remote Code Execution (RCE) vulnerabilities being addressed is breathtaking -- and a reminder that in today's increasingly automated and fast-evolving threat environment, no hole is too obscure to attract hacker attention.
Or too obscure to avoid patching.
The fact that unpatched vulnerabilities remain a major problem long after patches are released remains one of the great lessons in how human nature -- and human laziness -- grants hackers access.
Take a moment before Tuesday -- take it today, in fact, to make sure that your systems are set for automatic updates.
Remind remote offices and mobiles users to do the same -- although mobile users should also be reminded not to use any auto-update from open-access free wireless sites.
Verify that the patches were downloaded and installed throughout your company.
This isn't exactly rocket science -- which makes patching especially important considering the number of rocket-science level hackers who want access to your machines.