November 2019 Patch Tuesday Forecast: Out with the old, in with the new

There are only two more Patch Tuesday’s before the new year, but we already have something new to experience this November. Windows 10 version 1909, named the November 2019 Update, was released recently on MSDN. Unlike previous fall releases, this one has fewer features and is more in line with the Microsoft approach of a service pack update focusing on ‘select performance improvements, enterprise features, and quality enhancements.’

We’re waiting on the official announcement and release of the servicing technology that will provide the update from Windows 10 Version 1903 to the November 2019 Update. This could happen on Patch Tuesday, so be on the lookout!

The importance of keeping systems up-to-date with the latest security patches continues to make the news as attacks continue. Several ransomware attacks are exploiting the recent iTunes and iCloud zero-day vulnerabilities and installing the BitPaymer malware. Installing the latest updates from Apple will prevent system access and encryption.

You face greater challenges if you have legacy systems that are reaching end-of-life or end-of-support. You will need to purchase extended support (if available) or consider other mitigations such as application control, privilege management, more restrictive firewall settings or even disconnected networks to protect them from exploitation.

Support is ending for Windows 10 Home, Professional, and Professional for Workstations Version 1803 this Patch Tuesday. If you still have machines running Version 1803, you may have a holiday upgrade project ahead of you. We’re also only two months away from the end-of-life of for Windows 7 and Server 2008/2008 R2.

You definitely should have your migration or extended support plan in place by now, because the holidays will soon be upon us. You may get more free time this month to plan for the end of these operating systems because we are expecting a light November Patch Tuesday.

November 2019 Patch Tuesday Forecast

  • Microsoft will provide the usual round of operating system and Office updates. Expect a SharePoint update which usually ties in closely with the Office changes.
  • We’ve been bombarded with servicing stack updates (SSUs) the past few months, including last month, so we may get a break here.
  • We could see minor version patches for the browsers, but don’t expect any major releases: the next major version of Chrome is scheduled for the week of December 10, the next major version of Firefox is scheduled for the week of December 3.
  • Apple just released their patches last week so we should be good for a while.
  • Adobe Flash used to be a reliable bet although it has become a wild card the past few months, skipping a few Patch Tuesdays. We’ve had six separate releases of Adobe Acrobat and Reader in the past three months, so we may get a ‘bye’ week this month.
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November 2019 Patch Tuesday Forecast: Out with the old, in with the new