Microsoft users told to patch now, as critical security flaws revealed

June 11, 2008 Sophos Press Release

Three of the security bulletins has been rated as critical by Microsoft
Three of the security bulletins have been rated as critical by Microsoft.

Experts at Sophos have advised companies to keep up-to-date with the latest Microsoft security patches and consider the benefits of Network Access Control (NAC) in light of the announcement of critical security flaws affecting the Windows operating system.

As part of its monthly "Patch Tuesday" schedule Microsoft has issued a number of new bulletins (three of them described as "critical") about security vulnerabilities in its software. The vulnerabilities affect versions of the Windows operating system and Internet Explorer.

Sophos recommends that organizations roll-out the patches as a matter of urgency, as some of them could enable hackers to access data on a vulnerable PC or run malicious code such as a worm.

Network Access Control enables companies to control who and what is allowed onto their network; blocking unauthorized users, controlling guest access, and ensuring compliance with a business's security policy. By implementing NAC firms reduce the risk of unauthorized, guest, non-compliant, or infected systems compromising the network, ensuring that only correctly secured computers gain network access.

"NAC identifies managed, unmanaged and guest computers that do not comply with your security policy, and acts a vital tool when dealing with newly reported security vulnerabilities such as these," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "For instance, you can quickly tell which of your company's computers are incorrectly patched or have the firewall disabled. You can then choose to automatically fix vulnerabilities before allowing the PCs to access your network, or simply block non-compliant computers. Whether your company is running NAC or not, it's important to take these latest security bulletins from Microsoft seriously and ensure that your business is properly protected."

Home users of Microsoft Windows can visit update.microsoft.com to have their systems scanned for Microsoft security vulnerabilities.

Sophos suggests that every IT manager responsible for security should consider subscribing to vulnerability mailing lists such as that operated by Microsoft at www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/notify.mspx.

Sophos continues to recommend companies protect their desktops and servers with automatically updated protection against viruses, spyware, hackers, and spam.