New dashboard gives eagle's-eye view of Microsoft's security flaws

All the bad news about all the 'wares you use, all in one place

IE8 patch

Microsoft has launched a new dashboard service designed to make it easier for systems admins to view the latest security bulletins for a range of Microsoft software.

The idea behind the service, called myBulletins, is to allow admins to subscribe to security bulletins for only those products that are in use in their environments and ignore bulletins for products that aren't.

In a blog post on Wednesday, Tracey Praetorius of Redmond's Trustworthy Computing group said the service was crafted based on customer requests.

"You shared that you needed the ability to cut through complexity and make decisions quickly," Praetorius wrote. "You wanted help identifying the information that is most relevant to your organization. We heard you and acted on your feedback."

Among the products for which security bulletins are available in the dashboard are Windows, Office, Internet Explorer, some server products, and even developer tools like Visual Studio. In many cases, this includes older versions; the tool even offers bulletins for Windows XP, for example, which as we all know isn't getting any more security fixes.

Screenshot of Microsoft's myBulletins security service

You could be in for some grim morning reading (click to enlarge)

The bulletins appear ordered by date, and within each date they are ranked by severity, so that "Critical" bulletins appear fist, followed by those deemed "Important" or merely "Moderate."

Another column tells you whether applying a particular fix will require a reboot, although the majority of them seem to, or are at least marked "Maybe."

In addition to viewing and searching the bulletins online, there is also a button that lets you download all of your search results as an Excel spreadsheet, if that's more your cup of tea. The sheet includes hyperlinks to the bulletins themselves, as well as to the appropriate Knowledge Base pages.

Microsoft says users can help improve the service by submitting comments using the site feedback link.

The software giant is providing myBulletins free of charge to all customers, but to use it, you'll need to login using a Microsoft Account. ®

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