Vital Role of Software Patches

The Vital Role Software Patches Play in Protecting Your Company

In today’s cyber threat landscape, proper patching of software vulnerabilities is a vital step in helping to protect your organization from cyber attacks that may result in denial of critical services, theft of sensitive information, or corruption of data. Each software product has a lifecycle during which the vendor supplies security patches for known vulnerabilities. These patches must be applied in a timely manner to guard against exploitation.

As a product (or product version) reaches end of life software support, security patches are no longer developed (or at most are released only sporadically for the most dangerous threats). At this point, continued use of the expired product reduces your security and increases your risk of a successful attack. PCA Technology Solutions’ strategy is to be proactive about advising our clients well before these support deadlines, giving them time to budget for upgrades or replacements.

Microsoft Patch Updates

Microsoft’s End of Life Support

Microsoft’s traditional Fixed Lifecycle Policy* generally includes five years of mainstream support (product enhancements and security updates), followed by five years of extended support (security updates only). Notable end-of-life software support dates for Microsoft products under the Fixed Lifecycle Policy that are either expiring or have already expired include:

Windows 7January 14, 2020
Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2January 14, 2020
SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2July 9, 2019

Microsoft’s Modern Lifecycle Policy** covers products and services that receive continuous maintenance and support. Under this policy, the product or service receives continued coverage/support if the following criteria are met:

  1. Customers must stay current as per the servicing and system requirements published for the product or service.
  2. Customers must be licensed to use the product or service.
  3. Microsoft must currently offer support for the product or service.

This policy also includes the Windows 10 operating system, which receives major version updates twice per year (each Spring and Fall). Each version is numbered according to the year and month of release, so version 1703 represents the March 2017 release of Windows 10.

Updated Patches

For Windows 10 Professional, each version has a shorter support lifecycle of only 18 months, making it important to upgrade more frequently to continue receiving security updates. Notable Windows 10 version end-of-life dates include:

Windows 10 version 1903December 8, 2020
Windows 10 version 1809May 12, 2020
Windows 10 version 1803November 12, 2019
Windows 10 version 1709April 9, 2019
Windows 10 version 1703October 9, 2018

Contact PCA for Software Planning and Protection

For all expiring (or expired) products mentioned, please contact PCA Technology Solutions for a plan to not only upgrade or replace them, but also continue receiving critical security updates.

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