January 2017 Patch Tuesday Forecast – Shavlik

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Goodbye 2016; Hello 2017!

We have survived another year and what a year that was.

As we start off 2017, I am sure most of you have already heard about the joining of forces between LANDESK and Heat Software to further the expertise stronghold on security and patching. This marrying of the minds comes just in time for those who have not yet picked a new year’s resolution.  Now is the time to make a resolution to increase the health of your security posture and patch your systems regularly.

Even though there are no known zero days or hints of nasty exploits on the horizon, we all know that it is just a matter of time before someone will find something to hack and expose potential vulnerabilities. So, with that in mind, let’s start the year off with good habits and make sure we are following the steps to better Security Hygiene now that the holiday fun and distractions are behind us.

Steps to Better Security Hygiene

  • Make sure you have sanitized incoming email with junk mail and phishing filters. Remember that user targeted vulnerability is where some of the highest risk lies.
  • Make sure you have sanitized the machines and devices of users who have come into contact with public WiFi while traveling in and out of the office and private secured networks. Since users will likely browse the internet, open email with attachments, and in general be exposed to potential attack vectors daily, it is important to sanitize their machines with good signature, non-signature, and behavioral threat assessments.  Remember that signature based threat assessment alone is not enough anymore.
  • Make sure your systems are frequently patched, both the OS and software, and make use of least privilege rules and proper application control. Remember that preventative security measures can mitigate or eliminate 85% of the threats in today’s market.

Honorable Mentions

Chrome announced at the end of 2016 that beginning in the new year they will be identifying web pages as “Not Secure” if the page includes login or credit card fields AND the page is not served using HTTPS. For additional information on this announcement, see the following article posted on zdnet.com.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/chrome-will-begin-marking-http-pages-as-non-secure/

Your Patch Tuesday Forecast

Based on the trends we saw in 2016, the January 2017 Patch Tuesday will likely include updates for the following:

From Microsoft we are likely looking at around 1-4 installable packages:

  • OS and IE will definitely have multiple updates, but they will come in a single installable package under the new servicing model. Vista would be the only exception to this change as it still receives individual bulletin updates.
  • Office is likely since there were updates consistently pretty much every month in 2016.

From Adobe you can expect 1-3 updates:

  • Adobe typically tries to release Flash Player on Patch Tuesday and has done so pretty consistently all of 2016, so expect that update.
  • Adobe Reader and Acrobat both released an update back in October of 2016 and have been pretty consistently having an update every 2-3 months this year. Those two are a high possibility this month since they did not release last month.

From Chrome you may have 1 update this month:

  • Chrome released a beta version after last Patch Tuesday making it likely there could be an update on or around Patch Tuesday this month.

Total Update Accumulation 3-8 updates for Patch Tuesday next week.

As always, catch our Patch Tuesday blog and commentary next Tuesday and sign up for our Patch Tuesday Webinar next Wednesday, January 11th as we delve deeper into the bulletins and vulnerabilities resolved on Patch Tuesday.