Running old antivirus software (or none at all)? You might not get the latest Microsoft patch to fix the “Meltdown” & “Spectre” vulnerabilities

The “Meltdown” and “Spectre” vulnerabilities recently disclosed affect a wide variety of devices–from Windows PCs and laptops to Macs, iPhones, and iPads. Software and hardware vendors have been hard at work trying to address these issues.

But did you realize that if you are not running up-to-date antivirus (or aren’t running antivirus at all), that you you might not get the patches Microsoft has developed to address these problems?

Microsoft released fixes for these issues on January 3rd, 2018, but requires a special “registry key” be set before the security updates will install. They found during testing that a small number of antivirus software products were incompatible with the updates and could cause the computer to become unstable if installed with these incompatible antivirus packages. Because of this, they put in the safeguard of requiring that this registry key be set before the patch would install.

The takeaway? Make sure your antivirus package is up-to-date and compatible with these security updates. If you are not running any antivirus at all, you will need to manually create this registry key, or install one of Microsoft’s antivirus software to receive the update.

Don’t want to have to worry about keeping your antivirus software and Microsoft patches up-to-date? Our FiMSP managed services can help! We bundle in a great antivirus package and help to manage your Microsoft patches (along with others) for you.

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Vice President at Fidelis.