August 9, 2011



Roundtable on security patches Friday

By Harvard Townsend

The Security Incident Response Team will host an IT security roundtable on the subject of patching security vulnerabilities in operating system and application software from 9-10 a.m. Friday in Hale 301. Join us to discuss topics such as:

  • What are the most important applications to keep patched (i.e., which ones are most often exploited)?
  • How often should patches be applied (once a semester is not enough!)? 
  • WSUS for patching Microsoft Windows and Office products; using the central IT WSUS service 
  • Challenges of patching systems imaged with the likes of Deep Freeze 
  • How do you deal with patches that require a reboot? 
  • How do you handle patches that typically require user interaction? 
  • How do you manage patches for the different types of systems you have to support, like laptops and other mobile devices, office staff workstations, faculty workstations, labs, servers that are expected to be up 7x24, check-out equipment, etc.
  • The trade-off between applying patches as soon as possible (esp. if it fixes a vulnerability that's being actively exploited) and testing them to make sure they don't break anything 
  • The trade-off between the risk exposure of an un-patched system versus the effort required to keep systems patched 

Nick Brown from iTAC will demonstrate how to apply patches on systems imaged with Deep Freeze. The rest of the time will be an open discussion about the topics listed above, the challenges you face in supporting a wide variety of systems, and tips and tricks you've found to meet those challenges.

This roundtable is intended to be an information sharing session among practitioners as opposed to formal presentation. Come share your experiences and knowledge so all can benefit from the collective wisdom. As always, the IT security roundtable is open to anyone.

If you have any questions, contact Harvard Townsend, chief information security officer, at 532-2985 or via email.