Western Kentucky University

IT Division - Security

Software Updates

Network Computing and Communications is providing a solution for faculty and staff that will maintain the operating system patches on multiple Windows workstations.  As Microsoft releases security patches, it is critical that these be installed on your computer to protect it from viruses, worms and attackers.  The service that is being installed is based on a Microsoft product called Software Update Server (SUS).    With this service, patches are tested and, once approved, are automatically distributed to all the machines utilizing the service.  This alleviates the need to touch each machine individually and ensures that all machines are as secure as possible.

The service will be installed on Univeristy workstations running Windows XP.  It does not work on 95, 98, ME, or NT 4.

Currently, patches are released on an average of once per month.  When the patch is released, a small globe may appear with a pop-up bubble in the bottom right corner of your screen telling you that the updates are ready to be installed.  You can click on the bubble to install the patch right then, or you can wait until later.  You can also leave your computer on over-night after you see the bubble and it will install the patch on its own at 3:00 am.  Please do not put off installing the patches, as they are a crucial part of protecting your computer and the campus network.

Pop-Up balloon will let you know that new updates are ready to install


Why use SUS

Have you ever received a recall notice on a car telling you that a repair is needed? Some of these repairs are critical. If you don't get the car repaired, driving it could be dangerous.

Microsoft issues bulletins when a problem - a vulnerability - with their software is discovered that might be a security threat to users. Microsoft also release patches (fixes) for these vulnerabilities.

Ignoring these bulletins could be dangerous, because worms, viruses and trojans exploit the vulnerabilities. Infections can spread worldwide over the Internet in minutes, so it is very important to apply critical Microsoft patches promptly.

Keeping your computer up-to-date with current fixes (patches) is difficult. To make this process easier, Network Computing and Communications has introduced a Software Upgrade Service (SUS). A SUS server at WKU checks the Microsoft site for critical patches. Once SUS is installed on your computer, it regularly checks the local server. If a new patch is available, SUS downloads it and installs it on your computer.

Do I have SUS?

To check and see if you have SUS installed you need to follow these steps.

  1. Right-click on My Computer.

  2. Within this window you should then select the Properties option.

    Selecting properties from My Computer icon

  3. A new window should pop up that has a header called System Properties. You should now select the tab Automatic Updates.

    Automatic Updates tab in System Properties

  4. In the Automatic Updates pane, the options below should be selected but "grayed out" to where they can't be changed. If they are, then you do have SUS installed. Other wise you need to contact the Help Desk to arrange for this to be installed.

    Check to see if options on Automatic Updates tab are grayed out to know if you have SUS installed



 Last Modified 7/23/13