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Friday, April 12, 2013

Protect Yourself, Protect Your Data - patching University Computers

Beginning the week of April 22, 2013, we will be implementing a new program to patch University computers through an automated campus-wide approach. This will help us to provide the best possible protection of our university network, computers, and data.  Rather than having each college or program center separately responsible for patching, patching (if needed) will now be automatically pushed once a week on a campus-wide basis on each Thursday. This will ensure that patches are installed in a timely and uniform manner across campus, but can also be applied at your convenience.

What is patching, and why does it help? 

  • Patching is a software update that fixes problems with or updates a computer program, often fixing security vulnerabilities and other bugs, or improving performance. 
  • Patches are most often applied to operating systems, like Windows or OS X.

How it will work?   

  • On Wednesday patches will be pushed to a test group of about 100 machines to discover if any problems are reported.  We do this because occasionally the patches sent by vendors cause unexpected problems with our computer configurations.·        
  • Thursday, if no problems are reported, patches will be pushed to all university-owned computers (not personal computers) until all computers have the patches.
  • You, as the user, will be presented with a pop-up screen in the lower right hand corner of the monitor, notifying you that patches are ready to apply. These prompts let you know that the computer is not protected and what to do to apply the patch.   Patches may be applied at your convenience. You can choose the best time to apply the patches so that it will not affect your classroom time or other work.  This is important because while some patches will install so fast you would barely notice, others might take a few minutes to install, and still others might require a computer restart. 
  • If the computer is not on campus or is not turned on, the patches will be pushed at the next opportunity.

What will be patched?

  • Operating Systems (Mac and Windows)
  • Browsers (IE and Firefox)
  • Microsoft Office
  • Vulnerable Software, such as Flash and Java

Will this apply to all University-owned computers?

  • Yes, all university-owned machines will have patches automatically pushed out.
  • If you have an issue or concern,  open a ticket at csus.service-now.com and login with your saclink username and password or contact the IRT Service Desk at 916.278.7337.

Aren’t we receiving patches now?

  • In all probability you are already receiving patches sent by your IT staff or by the central PC service group.  This change will let you know when you will receive patches each week, and will ensure that all university computers can be protected.

We believe this process will be consistent and efficient, and for those who are already receiving patching, there should be little or no change.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Doug Jackson at 87705

Faculty-Staff Anti-Virus Software Being Updated