Do it now or put it off? A risk-based approach to patch management

Most IT admins will agree that patching systems such as Windows clients and especially Windows servers involve some degree of risk. If you’re not convinced of this, take a look at my earlier article titled Have Microsoft patches reached a painful tipping point? here on our TechGenix site. In that article. I shared some stories that demonstrated that the pain of keeping up with the sheer number Microsoft patches has become unbearable for many admins, and I concluded that something has to change, and soon. Then in a follow-up article titled I described a bunch of mitigating steps we can all take as patch management admins to stave off impending doom. These steps were basically practical tips such as waiting a week before applying any software updates and using several reliable sources to review all the known issues concerning the updates you are going to deploy.

While the steps I outlined can be of practical help for patch management admins, they don’t deal directly with the core issue of risk. What I mean is that each time you apply a newly released update to an operating system or application to address some security or reliability issue with the software, you risk having something…

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