Feeds

Oracle moves to quarterly patch cycle

Extended delivery

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Oracle yesterday announced plans to adopt a quarterly security patch cycle. The enterprise software giant says that adopting a fixed delivery schedule will make it easier for customers to plan updates and thereby help them reduce costs.

The updates are scheduled to be issued to customers simultaneously via Oracle's support Web site, MetaLink, next year on 18 January, 12 April, 12 July and 18 October. Products to be covered under the new patching regime include Oracle Application Server, Oracle Database, Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Enterprise Manager and Oracle Collaboration Suite.

Oracle previously said it would issue patches monthly, like Microsoft, it's now come round to the view that once every three months is frequent enough. Oracle said that releasing security updates as a "single, well-integrated and well-tested patch that fixes multiple, high-priority vulnerabilities" will help to reduce the costs of applying patches.

"Organizations prefer regular, planned schedules for patching their information technology systems," said Mary Ann Davidson, Oracle's chief security officer. "After surveying customers across a variety of industries it became evident that a quarterly process would best meet our customers' needs. The quarterly schedule strikes a balance between issuing patches often enough to protect customers from serious vulnerabilities while making it easier for customers to manage the maintenance process."

The software giant argues that reacting to unscheduled "surprise" patch alerts makes this difficult for customers. Whilst there's some truth in this Oracle ought to consider the impact of having an unfixed security bug across its customer base for months on end. Oracle's public pronouncement doesn't give much room for manoeuvre but we hope database giant has the good sense to issue an emergency fix in circumstances where a security flaw is been actively exploited. ®

Related stories

Oracle joins the monthly patch bandwagon
Oracle's first monthly patch batch fails to placate critics
Oracle 'sitting on security fixes'
Ballmer's new MS security fix same patches, but nicer
MS debuts 'forthcoming attractions' pre-alert alert

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
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
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
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.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.