IT organizations depend heavily on Windows Server to manage the infrastructure, users and their devices, using features such as Active Directory and products like System Center. Windows Server also provides the backbone for numerous business-critical applications, such as Exchange Server and SQL Server.
Because of Windows Server's importance in a shop that depends on Microsoft's technology stack, administrators take extra care when they patch the server operating system. One bad update can take down the entire data center. Microsoft's monthly security updates bring additional stress to administrators with numerous enterprise systems based on Windows Server -- a fix for the server operating system could break the functionality in an important third-party application.
This essential guide to 2017's monthly Patch Tuesday news stories and related articles helps administrators understand and implement Windows Server patches, whether it's the next day, next month or next quarter.
1Patch Tuesday reports-
The scoop on Windows Server patches
On the second Tuesday of each month, dubbed Patch Tuesday, Microsoft releases security bulletins and associated patches to close vulnerabilities in the company's software, including Windows Server. Most administrators apply these patches in a timely fashion to remove these exploits from business systems. Approach system patches and updates armed with insights from security analysts and administrators on each month's most important Windows Server patches.
Microsoft issues three bulletins to close vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office, the Edge browser and a Windows Server service. The company also supplied a fix from Adobe for its Adobe Flash Player application. Continue Reading
After a month-long delay, Microsoft releases 17 updates on March Patch Tuesday and addresses several known vulnerabilities that can affect Windows Server administrators. Continue Reading
On April Patch Tuesday, Microsoft officially switches from verbose security bulletin format to the database layout of the Security Update Guide. Windows Server admins should be aware of a Hyper-V host patch. Continue Reading
Microsoft releases a rare out-of-band patch to plug an exploit on several Windows systems, including Windows Server 2016. Continue Reading
A month after the WannaCry ransomware outbreak, Microsoft cites a new threat when it supplies a patch for Windows Server 2003, two years after the server OS went out of support. Continue Reading
Administrators should prioritize yet another vulnerability associated with the SMB protocol that could allow attackers to overtake Windows systems. Continue Reading
Security researchers uncovered a new SMB vulnerability in July, but Microsoft feels most administrators who follow network security best practices are already protected. Continue Reading
2Patch like a pro-
A window into patching Microsoft systems
Security is a 24/7 concern -- not just something to think about on Patch Tuesday. Stay in the know with other developments related to the security of Microsoft's operating systems, such as the servicing model change.
In October 2016, Microsoft migrated several Windows operating systems to a rollup model that packages individual patches into a single file. IT pros weigh the pros and cons of losing the ability to add and remove individual patches. Continue Reading
System administrators need to act when Microsoft issues a security update, but a bad patch can break systems -- so what's an overworked IT staff to do? Continue Reading
While Microsoft offered developers a way to run Linux in Windows 10, did it also expand the attack surface of the operating system? Continue Reading
Get a grip on the Microsoft patching change by using automation tools and new features like Nano Server to minimize downtime and disruptions to end users. Continue Reading
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3Secure systems defined-
Develop a Windows Server security vocabulary
This glossary of terms related to patches and security will help Windows Server administrators learn about the different threats to systems, and Microsoft's technologies and features for patch management.