For those of you that do not know, Microsoft regularly releases security updates for it’s security programs and operating systems, typically once a month, in order to keep ahead of potential hackers and scammers. February’s updates, however, have been shelved at the last minute by Microsoft, which stated that the updates will instead be released during next month’s normal update window on March 14.
On Tuesday, Microsoft delayed February’s set of updates due to a “Last-minute issue that could impact some customers and was not resolved in time for our planned updates”. While not unheard of, the implication was that the updates would be released as soon as these issues were resolved. This was amended on Wednesday, when Microsoft instead announced that these updates would be released as part of next month’s update cycle.
So what does this mean? Well, unfortunately, it means that programs such as Microsoft office, Windows Security Essentials, and even Windows operating systems will be vulnerable until next month. There are publicly known security flaws and weaknesses in these programs that Microsoft was going to seal in this month’s updates, but due to unforeseen complications they will not be handled until March. In light of this, I strongly urge readers to speak with their IT departments about stepping up network security for the next month as a precaution. The good news in all of this is that while Windows and Microsoft’s other programs have vulnerabilities, these vulnerabilities can be compensated for with strong network security and virus protection programs, such as Panda and Kaspersky, and a little vigilance on your part and on the part of your IT teams can mean the difference between a secure network environment and potentially losing hours or even days of work.