Patch Tuesday November 2021: a flood of computer security updates for your small business.
An ounce of patching is cheaper than a pound of hacking. Yes, sometimes patches cause problems with existing software and settings. But the cost and disruption of hacking or broken software is much higher.
Occasionally I get Mac clients who are hanging onto to older versions of Mac OS and having problems with software. Usually updating the operating system and checking the App store for new versions fixes these problems. Mac users should be aware that Apple does not patch security problems on older versions of their OS making them more vulnerable to hacking.
Patching applies to your smartphones and tablets too. All it takes is one infected device (computer, tablet, phone, smart device) on your network to wreak havoc on your business.
Microsoft released a flood of security patches this month. Two were of particular interest to businesses. There is a serious vulnerability in the Windows Remote Desktop program. A lot of businesses use Remote Desktop or RDP for employees working from home. This needs to be patched as soon as possible as the vulnerability allows hackers to capture the computer password.
Microsoft also patched a vulnerability in Excel that allowed hackers to install malicious code via a poisoned Excel file. This vulnerability affects both Windows AND Mac versions of Office.
In total Microsoft patched 55 security bugs this month. More details here.
November 9th Adobe released a security update for Creative Cloud. Creative Cloud gets bundled with Adobe Acrobat for Windows users. There is no way to get rid of this program that no one uses but causes problems. I have Creative Cloud updates freeze Windows, freeze programs and use a lot of computing resources. You need to patch this right away.
You can find more information about Adobe security updates here.
Apple released updates November 18th, 17th and 10th. I wish they would pick a single day of the month to do their updates. Easier to manage.
The most important updates were a security update for Safari and iCloud for Windows which a lot of people use to synch items to and from their iPhones.
Apple users: if you are having problems with Safari it might not have to do with updates. Increasingly web sites are being designed only for Chrome, no other browser. Symptoms include spinning wheels, broken pages and broken forms.
More on the Apple Security updates here.
Apple also has a page dedicated on what to do if your Apple device has been compromised.
Patch Tuesday November 2021
Shore up your security dykes and get patching.