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February 2004

A Patch in Time: Considering automated patch management

Victor Barra simply didn't have the staff to keep the more than 1,000 Windows servers at Siemens Medical patched. More than once, malware attacks brought down systems and cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars. Last summer's Blaster worm was the last straw. "We had to turn the network off at the routers until everything got patched," says Barra, administrator for the medical equipment manufacturer's Windows networks. "It cost the company a ridiculous amount of money. "Management finally realized we had to put resources into the problem," he adds. For Siemens Medical, that meant investing in an automated patch management solution rather than thousands of man-hours per month. Barra uses Shavlik Technologies' HFNetChkPro to install patches on his servers in one-hour maintenance windows early each workday. It costs $10 per box, money Barra says is well spent. Over the next six months, he plans to use the software to patch 3,500 clients at the company's Malvern, Pa., IT facility as well as 10,000 clients across the country...

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