Microsoft Windows Security Updates Guide

This document sheds light on what Microsoft Windows security updates are, Importance of installing Windows security patches and, How to install security updates manually and automatically with Patch Manager Plus.

What are Patch updates ?

A patch update is the process of updating the existing software with a small piece of  software code to fix any security or functional issues in the application. Patch updates are crucial and needs continuous monitoring to safe guard your enterprise network from getting breached. This, and a plethora of reasons as to why patch updates are important to keep a business running securely. Microsoft's patch updates comprises of several kinds of patches that inlcude critical patch updates, security patch updates, rollups, feature packs, definition updates and service packs. Read along to find the importance of Microsoft's security updates and ways to handle Windows security patch updates with Patch Manager Plus.

What are security updates for Microsoft Windows?

Microsoft releases security updates in the second week of every month, and sometimes they release updates on the fourth week too. These updates address various issues and vulnerabilities which are being exploited in the wild. Security updates are just patches which come with feature enhancements, performance improvements, bug fixes, etc. On patching these Security Updates, your enterprise will become more secure with enhanced protection and performance. The more you delay the installation of these Security Updates, the more vulnerable your network will be.

It's quite tedious to monitor all of the Microsoft Security Updates and patch them immediately. And this is where the patch management software - Patch Manager Plus comes to the rescue.

How to install Microsoft Windows Security Patches?

Patch Manager Plus offers Microsoft Security Patch Management and many more. Using the Patch Manager Plus software, you can patch the Microsoft Security Updates in one go. All you need to do is just select a few options so that it will be installed. Here are the two ways of installing the Microsoft Security Updates using Patch Manager Plus software:

  1. Manual installation of Microsoft Security Patches
  2. Automatic installation of Microsoft Security Patches

How to manually install Microsoft Windows security patches?

Follow the steps given below to install Microsoft security updates manually using Patch Manager Plus:

  1. Navigate to the Patch Manager Plus console and click on the Deployment tab -> Manual Deployment -> Click on Install/ Uninstall Patch and select the platform which you want to patch.
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  3. Give a suitable Name and Description.
  4. Next, click on Add Patches.
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  6. Using the filter option, filter by Patch Type by selecting Security Update which you want to install and click on OK to install Microsoft security updates manually.
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  8. Configure the Scheduler Settings to install after the specified date and time. (This is optional)
  9. You can configure the Deployment Settings by choosing a Deployment Policy or creating your own policy by specifying how and when you want the deployment to happen.
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  11. The next step is to choose the target computers on which you want the security updates to be deployed to.
  12. You also have options to retry this configuration on failed targets and to receive e-mail notifications of the deployment task.
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To know about how to install Microsoft security updates manually using Patch Manager Plus in detail, refer to this document.

How to automatically install Microsoft Windows security patches?

With a patch management tool like Patch Manager Plus you can keep track of the Microsoft Security Updates being released every now and then. It's tedious to update them frequently from the vendors' site and also consumes a lot of bandwidth. This patching tool has a feature called Automated Patch Deployment (APD) which has an option to install the Microsoft Security Updates.

Follow the steps given below to install the Microsoft Security Updates:

  1. Navigate to the Patch Manager Plus console and go to Deployment tab -> Automate Patch Deployment.
  2. Click on Automate Task and choose the platform as Windows.
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  4. Give a suitable name for the APD task that you're creating using the edit option.
  5. The first stage of creating this task is Select Applications. Under Microsoft Updates, you'll find Security Updates. Click on Security Updates checkbox to install windows security update or click on the checkbox based on the severities such as Critical, Important, Moderate, Low and Unrated.

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    After selecting this box, you can choose to do any one of the following three actions:
    • Patch All Applications
    • Patch Specific Applications (and select those applications)
    • Patch All Applications Except (and select those applications)
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  7. The second stage of this APD task is to choose the deployment policy wherein you can select the existing deployment policy or create a new one. So here you can configure the frequency and the preferred day for the deployment of the Windows security update to happen.
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  9. The third stage is where you can specify the target computers on which you want the deployment of the Windows security update to happen.
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  11. The final stage is configuring notifications so that you'll be notified about the APD task. After providing your e-mail address and selecting the required options, click on Save.
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So this is how you can automatically update the Microsoft Security Updates. To know about how to create an Automate Patch Deployment task in detail, refer to this document.

Other than security updates, windows critical updates, definition updates, service packs and so on are also released on Patch Tuesday. Windows critical updates are those that fix specific non-security related critical bugs that can either cause performance degradation or disturb application compatibility. Patch Manager Plus can be used as a comprehensive tool as it facilitates all types of such updates.