[ISN] Air Force wants faster patching

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Thu Dec 9 03:14:51 EST 2004


By Frank Tiboni 
Dec. 8, 2004

Air Force officials will meet next week to discuss broadening their
information assurance efforts to include speeding the service's
software-patching process.

Officials' ultimate goal is to have software patches implemented
across the Air Force in minutes. During the next few months, they hope
to cut the time from tens of days to just days, said Col. Ronnie
Hawkins, director of communications operations in the Office of the
Deputy Chief of Staff for Installation and Logistics.

Hawkins spoke Dec. 7 at Air Force Information Technology Day,
sponsored by AFCEA International.

Air Force officials can deliver a software patch across the service in
minutes, but it takes much longer to install them, Hawkins said.  
Although patches are distributed automatically, they often are put on
computers manually, which can take months. Air Force chief information
officer John Gilligan has described that delay as unacceptable.

Air Force officials signed two Microsoft consolidation contracts worth
$500 million last month during the next six years to streamline the
service's software and support contracts with the company. The $70
million support portion allows for the automatic distribution and
installation of Microsoft software patches.

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