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I came across a couple of posts to a thread on comp.databases.oracle.server last night about the recent quarterly patch from Oracle. The comments made interesting reading. The thread is titled "How are you handling the quarterly Maintenance/Security Patches?". The OP asks how others are handling the first regular patch. His manager had asked him to look into the patch and decide on action. He made a good suggestion that if the patches are regular then there is no reason why he shouldn't plan to have the patch in test in one week and in production 2 to 3 weeks later. Good plan! He also asks if people are taking the time to decide on which databases are vulnerable and hence need patching or whether people are planning to simply apply the patches wholesale.
In a reply to the same thread a poster said
"Instead of supplying oneoff's it would seem safer for oracle customers
if oracle supplied patchsets that had included regression testing etc.
The current approach just doesn't seem optimal to me."
and he followed with:
"I wouldn't be surprised if oracle changes their direction after getting
some real world feedback from the current approach."
Some interesting thoughts in this thread, are people planning ahead? - after all we know when the patches ar coming, are people able to plan downtime and testing in advance, are people actually using the risk matrix information available in the advisory to assess whether each of their systems are vulnerable and need patching. Is anyone finding the risk matrix useful? - I wonder..:-)
This is the weblog for Pete Finnigan. Pete works in the area of Oracle security and he specialises in auditing Oracle databases for security issues. This weblog is aimed squarely at those interested in the security of their Oracle databases.
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