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Managing client-side security with patch management best practices
This article is part of the Information Security magazine issue of March 2011
The pervasiveness of Microsoft Windows has made it a favorite target for hackers for years, but client-side applications like Adobe Reader and Flash Player are even more ubiquitous -- a fact that hasn't escaped criminals. Dangerous vulnerabilities turn up in Adobe products on a regular basis. But it's not just Adobe vulnerabilities that put systems at risk. Serious security flaws have been found in other common client-side applications, such as Java, Apple QuickTime, Mozilla browser extensions, and Opera widgets. Microsoft and many large vendors now release security updates and patches to a known timetable, and Microsoft products like Office can be automatically patched using the Windows Automatic Update. However, patches for other common applications such as Adobe Reader, Firefox, and Java can't. Relying on end users to manually install these patches distributes the patching workload but in no way is this ideal as users can't be relied upon to get all the patches installed on a timely basis. The timely patching of software ...
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Features in this issue
There are a lot of risk assessment frameworks out there. Here's what you need to know in order to pick the right one.
VMs introduce a new security dynamic, one that emphasizes asset discovery, change management and tweaks to existing security technology.
Attacks on applications like Adobe Reader and Java require effective and timely patching of user systems.
Columns in this issue
Security managers should take advantage of the consumerization of IT trend to reinvent themselves.
Cloud computing is forcing an evolution of information security practices and technology.
A new competition tries to foster interest in cybersecurity early on.
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