Microsoft speeds up alert service


Microsoft speeds up alert service

Cliff Saran

Microsoft is this week set to announce an improvement to its security advisory service that will mean users are informed about security problems more quickly.

Currently Microsoft does not inform users about security problems until it has developed and tested a patch to fix the problem.

The move is likely to go some way to easing users' concerns that Microsoft could do more to help businesses protect their IT systems from security flaws in its products.

Once a new patch has been issued, users have to race against the clock to patch vulnerable systems before a hacker can write a virus to exploit the flaw.

The pilot project, called Microsoft Security Advisories, is likely to be some form of e-mail or web-based alert It will be used to provide fast feedback, guidance and help on overcoming security holes that have been uncovered before a Microsoft security patch has been released.

The service will offer users information on the security alert, answers to frequently asked questions and offer guidance on how to reduce the potential for security breaches.

Microsoft is expected to continue its monthly security updates containing patches for soft- ware in which security problems have been identified.

Microsoft usually controls disclosure of security information to give it time to develop and test a patch properly. But increasingly, some security experts are issuing notices of vulnerabilities sooner than Microsoft can release a patch.

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