Have my Windows patches actually been installed?

Sometimes, knowing if a machine has been properly patched is not as easy as you would like it to be. Do you have to reboot? Have any of your programs changed the way they operate? Were the updates automated? This kind of thing can be a real mystery. Fortunately, Windows security expert Kevin Beaver knows how to check Windows patches. Learn how here.

Question: When I patch my Windows servers, how do I ensure that the patches have actually been implemented?

Kevin Beaver's answer: With some patches requiring reboots and others not, this can be a risky assumption. The quick and easy way is to go into your Windows Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs, and check the Show Updates box at the top to see if the patches in question are installed.

More on Windows patch management:

Patch management: Windows Update for network security

Importance of managing unpatched third-party software

If you're ever in doubt, you can always re-run the Microsoft/Windows Update on your Start Menu or download and run MBSA to see if you've missed anything.

Patch management security extras

Patch management tips
Here you'll get information about recent Microsoft patches, expert advice about applying them and tips on how to address post-patch problems.

Windows patch management tutorial
In the Microsoft Patch Management tutorial, learn about Windows patch management policy, patch maintenance and post-patch security as well as what tools you can use for patch management in Windows networks.

This was first published in February 2008

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