Next Tuesday will be Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday for the month of October. For IT admins this means it’s time to clear your calendar and prepare to address a record-setting 16 security bulletins addressing 49 different identified vulnerabilities. This breaks the current record of 14 security bulletins that were issued back in August 2010.
Most of the updates plug security holes that could allow malevolent internet users to inject malicious code into the users’ computers. As these holes are usually in features not switched on by default, Microsoft usually labels them as Important (the most critical updates are labeled Critical).
It’s a long list of affected software that includes: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 and 2008, Microsoft Office XP Service Pack 3, Office 2003 Service Pack 3, Office 2007 Service Pack 2, Office 2010, Office 2004 for Mac and 2008 for Mac, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, SharePoint Server 2007, Groove Server 2010, and Office Web Apps.
These patches are considered important as we head into the last quarter of the year, a time when many businesses have a heavy volume of online shopping. This period sees many financial and retail companies going into lockdown mode where they don’t update their systems.
Microsoft will release the 16 updates at approximately 1 p.m. ET on Oct. 12. I think I’ll take that afternoon off and turn off my phones.