Why Do We Need Computer Patches?
By James Stewart, Manager of Computing Services
In computing, a ´patch´ is a small piece of software designed to update or fix problems with a computer program or its supporting data. This includes fixing bugs, replacing graphics and improving the usability or performance. Patches have the particularly important role of fixing security holes.
Security patches are the primary method of fixing security vulnerabilities in software. Currently Microsoft releases their security patches once a month, or as soon after a vulnerability announcement as possible.
Patch management involves maintaining current knowledge of available patches, and deciding what patches are appropriate for particular systems at a specified time. UT Arlington uses a patch management system called Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) to distribute the patches released by Microsoft to each of UT Arlington´s 6,000+ departmental computers. These patches are the same patches available from Microsoft´s Windows Update Web site, but WSUS allows us to update computers locally and withhold any patches we know will introduce new problems. WSUS is a great tool for managing and distributing critical, security updates for both Windows and Office products within UT Arlington. It will also update MS Visio and MS Project.
To subscribe to WSUS and/or to make sure you have the newest WSUS features, please point your Web browser to the following URL, http://www.uta.edu/oit/cs/antivirus-sus/index.
This service is set to run daily at 12 noon. Users logged onto their computers will be prompted to reboot once the updates are installed. When prompted, save your work, exit all programs and reboot. If no one is logged onto the machine, the computer will reboot automatically.
For more information visit http://www.uta.edu/oit/cs/antivirus-sus/index or call the OIT Help Desk.