1. Take an inventory of your common office environment and determine which programs use auto update engines and more importantly, which do not. 2. If possible, disable each of the auto update engines to save system resources and potentially unwarranted outbound connections. 3. Perform a vulnerability assessment on a regular basis to determine which third-party patches need to be deployed to keep the endpoint secure. 4. Download and test each patch and determine if it is safe to deploy to the entire environment. 5. Use a mitigation procedure such as patch management and vulnerability assessment to verify patch deployment and remediation of vulnerabilities.Essentially, after this little exercise I have stopped all my auto update programs and rely exclusively on my vulnerability assessment solution to tell me when to patch on a routine and predictable basis. Then I can run the tools manually to retrieve the patches, conserve resources, prevent unwanted outbound connections, and mitigate the risk of malware taking control of my update engines. This practice is not necessarily viable for every home user, but strongly recommended for businesses where the end-user is not permitted to perform the updates themselves.
Morey J. Haber, Chief Security Officer, BeyondTrust
Morey J. Haber is the Chief Security Officer at BeyondTrust. He has more than 25 years of IT industry experience and has authored three books: Privileged Attack Vectors, Asset Attack Vectors, and Identity Attack Vectors. He is a founding member of the industry group Transparency in Cyber, and in 2020 was elected to the Identity Defined Security Alliance (IDSA) Executive Advisory Board. Morey currently oversees BeyondTrust security and governance for corporate and cloud based solutions and regularly consults for global periodicals and media. He originally joined BeyondTrust in 2012 as a part of the eEye Digital Security acquisition where he served as a Product Owner and Solutions Engineer since 2004. Prior to eEye, he was Beta Development Manager for Computer Associates, Inc. He began his career as Reliability and Maintainability Engineer for a government contractor building flight and training simulators. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.