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Patching and Updates

Patch management is the process of identifying, acquiring, testing, and installing patches to operating systems and software on tablets, desktops, laptops, and servers. Patches are software updates intended to remediate security vulnerabilities or fix software defects. 


 Why is patch management important? 

Patch management is important to ensure your device prevents susceptibility to cyber-attacks that may lead to the loss or compromise of data, ensure your device is running smoothly, and meet regulatory and contractual requirements. 

 Who is impacted?

Patches are centrally managed and distributed by FSM IT to all Feinberg-managed devices, including tablets, desktops, laptops, and servers. 

 When does patching occur?

Patches are applied monthly, generally within a month of release by the software vendor. A message window is displayed on desktops, laptops and tablets around the third or fourth week of the month. 

For servers, the same schedule follows, and application owners are notified via email. Security patches are applied outside of business hours. 

Security updates with high or critical severity ratings are applied within 5 – 10 days of patches becoming available. 

 What is being patched?

Currently, centrally distributed patches include security updates for the following: 

  • Operating System: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS
  • Business product: Microsoft suite including Office and Teams
  • Third-party software: Chrome, Firefox, Adobe Acrobat, Zoom 

 What to expect?

Windows devices: After your computer receives the updates, you will be provided an option to restart immediately or defer. If you choose to wait, you will be reminded for three days, after which the prompt will present a “Take Action” to restart the computer. 

macOS devices: If your device is on macOS version 10.15 or higher, your device will be updated to the latest version. You will be prompted to save your work once the download is complete, after which you will be presented to start the update or defer the action for up to 9 days. You will not be able to use your device while the updates are installed. 

Servers (Windows and Linux): Application owners are expected to test their applications to ensure functionality after applying security patches. 

For iOS (iPad): The iPad will download the update and then provide a notification in Settings under General. Device owners are expected to update at their convenience. 

 Are there policies associated with Patch Management at FSM?

Yes, Feinberg devices are subject to University policies, specifically: 

Patch Management Standard 

Information Security Policy 

Appropriate Use of Electronic Resources 

 I use my personally-owned device to connect to University network resources. Am I subject to Patch Management policy?

Yes, all devices, including personally-owned ones connected to the university network (wired and wireless), are subject to the Patch Management Standard policy. While FSM IT manages the distribution and installation of patches to FSM devices, you are responsible for ensuring that your personally-owned device is up-to-date and compliant when accessing university resources. 


Please contact for additional support.