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June 2005

Patch Tuesday

EXPOSE Microsoft's regular patch release cycle is a combination of information, process and automated tools that makes updates go more smoothly. Microsoft intended its monthly patch bundles to help enterprises organize their vulnerability management efforts. But if you ask security managers what really makes a difference, they'll tell you it's automating those tricky patch deployments. "Patch Tuesday," the second Tuesday of every month, usually delivers a heavy dose of security fixes of varied criticality that can challenge even the heartiest IT staff. "When I was writing scripts, it would take me two hours to write just one, because you have to do research on a patch, download it and deploy it to one machine, then monitor the logs for problems," says Keith Seavey, infrastructure analyst for BOC Edwards, a Wilmington, Mass.-based semiconductor manufacturer with 4,000 seats and 250 servers at 68 sites around the world. "To patch the whole U.S. environment this way would take 40 hours--times-two for Europe and Asia. Now it takes ...

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