It’s that time of the month again, when Microsoft unleashes everyone’s favorite, recurring set of security updates: Patch Tuesday. This time around, Microsoft has released a total of six bulletins, of which a surprising four are rated as ‘critical.’ The remaining two are merely rated as ‘important.’ The six bulletins address eleven specific vulnerabilities, each of which is unique.
According to information security firm Qualys, who provides running commentary on security issues, one specific update is the most critical:
Organizations should focus most of their attention on MS12-027. What makes this bulletin stand out is that Microsoft is aware of attacks in the wild against it and that it affects an unsually wide-range of Microsoft products, including Office 2003 through 2010 on Windows, SQL Server 2000 through 2008 R2, BizTalk Server 2002, Commerce Server 2002 through 2009 R2, Visual FoxPro 8 and Visual Basic 6 Runtime.
Also in TNW’s inbox this week is the news that the final two-year countdown of Windows XP and Office 2003 support has begun. Microsoft is in the process of shooing people off the two technologies:
Now you may be asking yourself – should I wait to upgrade until the next versions of Windows and Office are available? We don’t recommend waiting. Not only is it important for companies to complete deployment before support runs out, but they should also be aware that by upgrading to Windows 7 and Office 2010 today they can gain substantial results today while laying the foundation for future versions of these products.
It’s a Windows 8 world shortly enough, but for the time being Microsoft wants to lock down current systems, and get as many people on Windows 7 as possible. Compared to what the firm is trying to accomplish with Windows 8, those seem like achievable goals.
If you are the sort of person who needs more information on the patches, head here.