As any IT professional likely knows, Microsoft releases its security patches on the second Tuesday of every month. Known as Patch Tuesday, the occasion sends IT admins scrambling to deploy these patches before hackers can launch attacks against the newly announced vulnerabilities.
Patch Tuesday is particularly huge at Shavlik, a patch management vendor, as its customers use its products and services to help ease the burden of Patch Tuesday.
"Basically, [on] Patch Tuesday, my team runs about 24 to 36 hours straight going as fast as they can to get this stuff out there," said Jason Miller, senior data team leader for Shavlik Technologies. He added that these sleep-deprived sessions are fueled by a great deal of junk food and caffeine.
"At noon Central time, Microsoft officially releases the patches. We start a marathon and a sprint at that point – getting all this information, trying to figure out which ones are the biggest and baddest and making sure we get those done as soon as possible, and then have a team come in to test all this and look at these patches. We're also getting feedback to Microsoft if we're not seeing any of this working correctly." The team stays on task until it can release this data to its customers, no matter how long it takes.
A big part of the challenge here is that not much is known about the patches prior to release. Only a small preview is provided ahead of time.
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