Posted By: ASK
Posted date: June 5, 2019
In: Managed IT, Microsoft, Mike Maddox
If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Last week, Microsoft rolled out a patch that wasn’t received well by some systems. The impact of this started showing up on Memorial Day weekend as systems rebooted. Putting our clients first has always been, and will always be, our number one priority – regardless what day it is. When we first discovered that the Microsoft patch was causing some issues, our team went to work. The issue was researched, identified, an action plan was created, and communications to our clients went out.
We’re big advocates of Microsoft and the productivity tools
they bring to the table – especially for mid-market businesses. While we love the tools, we have to admit
that Microsoft has caused some disruptions with how they roll out security
patches. We have a few thoughts on this, how it impacts businesses, and why it
is important to have an advanced tech team in your corner.
Our Thoughts on Microsoft Patches
We fully understand the importance of security patches. If
we said any different, our Enhanced Security Services team would be in our
CEO’s office giving him a long heart-to-heart. However, because of how quickly
technology and operating systems advance, when universal security patches are
rolled out, it can have unintended negative impacts. Security patches are
necessary – yes. But they aren’t always completable with the technology.
We saw this one year ago with the memorable “Microsoft Zero
Day Patch”. We reflected on the chaos it caused and you
can read about it here. One year later, over Memorial Day weekend, we
experienced yet another Microsoft patch that cause functionality issues with
the NIC card, which is what allows the system to connect to the internet. The
patch issue was narrowed down to only affecting Windows 7 workstations and
Windows Server 2008 servers.
The issue we see with universal patches being rolled out is
this: not every company is up to date with the Windows operating systems. Microsoft is desperately trying to push every
company forward with having the latest versions, but that simply takes time and
can be an heavy investment for some.
How Microsoft Patches Impact Businesses
In the case of the patch incident over Memorial Day 2019
(which we’ve coined ‘Patchapalooza’), not everyone was impacted negatively by
the roll out. Only companies who had Windows 7 workstations and Windows Server
2008 had issues. It should be noted that Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 have
a slated End of Life date of January 14, 2020. There has been a mad rush to
upgrade considering Microsoft will stop releasing updates and patches – and
since the patches they are currently rolling out keep breaking things on
Windows 7 and Server 2008!
We understand that there is the issue of legacy applications
and software that can only run on outdated Microsoft versions. Believe it or
not, there are some systems that can only run on Windows XP. This is a
conversation for another time, but this poses a big issue for many companies,
especially those in manufacturing. If your business runs on an application that
only operates on a version of Microsoft that is no longer supported, or has a looming
end of life date – what do you do? Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer,
which leads us to our next point.
Why You Need a Tech Team in You Corner
Planning for technology in your business is crucial. Our
businesses operate and depend on our applications, data and the functionality
of our network. It has to be a priority
to plan and have a roadmap for technology upgrades. The biggest problem is often that too much
falls on an internal tech team. Whether you have a team of ten or a lone ranger
managing your internal technology operations, it is a vast responsibility
considering the technology industry changes faster than most can keep up with.
Chances are, you checked out of the office on Friday looking
forward to a nice long holiday weekend. If your IT team wasn’t monitoring the
effects of the recent Microsoft patch, you wouldn’t know any different until
Tuesday morning. And who likes to walk into work after a holiday weekend with
workstations not working, frustrated co-workers, and the word every CEO hates:
It’s a lot to manage and we get it. This is the sole reason
why we do what we do. We are in the problem-solving business for a reason – so
you don’t have to worry about it. We take care of the little things – and the
big things like Microsoft patches gone wrong. We also help you take care of the
big things like planning for upgrades, security and how technology is used to
keep your business moving forward. This is why you need an advanced tech team
in your corner to always be monitoring your systems, even on a holiday.