Feeds

MS takes a stab at security bulletin for the masses

Damned if you don't, damned if you do, do-be-do-be-do...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Microsoft has several problems with security, in addition to the obvious. The company has a lot of security alerts, yes, and if it's serious about security it has to keep people informed. But security bulletins in their unvarnished form are desperately techie, and will only serve to confuse/scare most users.

So don't send them all to everybody? Then you get whacked for 'hiding' problems. Microsoft's preferred solution has been and still is automatic update, but this week it offered a small concession - an email newsletter intended to cover the same territory as the TechNet security notification service, but in less technical language.

You can sign up for the service here. It's worth noting that it just asks for your email address - no other data, and it's one of the few things that you can get from Microsoft that doesn't require a Passport.

Microsoft UK chief security officer Stuart Okin told The Register that the ultimate goal was self-healing systems that use automatic update. Stuart, however, is neither an imbecile nor in the MS marketing team, and recognises how far over the horizon this is. A fair, and probably growing, number of consumers will use automatic update without quibbles, but there are plenty people who don't trust Microsoft, and/or have reasonable concerns about patches breaking their apps. Businesses probably also want to use alternative means (although a fair number of these will use the TechNet service as well, and some do use automatic update).

Okin confesses that his mother uses automatic update; which is good, because in his job, if even your mother didn't trust you you'd be in big trouble. But the proof of the new service will lie in what it says, and how it says it. How, for example, would Microsoft have explained Slammer to the masses? We look forward to the first one, and then to the first one when there's a big one. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.