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Patch Management

With simple Windows networks, Microsoft's Windows Update Services, now in open-evaluation stages with final release expected in Q4 this year, can be used to keep your home computers up-to-date and may be enough to provide critical systems with the latest patches. Microsoft says the final release of Windows Update Services will add features that will make it your best patch source. It promises more features, including the capability to automate uploads of suggested and preferred patches, not just critical ones. Despite its limitations, SUS remains valuable, especially when paired with a tool like MBSA (Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer), which scans your Microsoft systems for patch and vulnerability status and links to SUS to provide critical updates.

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• Introduction

• Desktop Management

• Desktop Security

• Patch Management

• Protocol Analyzers
• Network Monitoring

• Network Configuration

• Storage
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  Used Gear
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• Mobile & Wireless
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• Web Servers
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Windows SUS uses HfNetChk, a component that's available as a standalone offering. Developed by Shavlik Technologies and distributed for free, HfNetChkLt surveys computer systems on the network, building a list of the installed and available patch status for each server and workstation. HfNetChkPro is the commercial product.

Although the free version won't automate patch distribution, simply knowing which current patches need to be applied is a vital starting point. If you want to tie patch management into a broader security scheme, look at third-party patch-management products like Freeware QChain.

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