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  1. #1
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    The increasing number of vulnerabilities and corresponding patches for Adobe Reader and the Adobe Flash Player have surfaced some deficiencies in Adobe's update system. In particular, there is no way to centrally manage updates for these products.

    With the advent of centrally managed security software, and Microsoft Update via WSUS, IT departments have been staffed on the assumption that you wouldn't need to be visiting individual user desktops for routine program updates. While Adobe Reader will check for updates after you launch a PDF, that's a bit late...

    Can anyone share best practices for small businesses -- for whom it it may not be economically feasible to use Retina Network Security Scanner (from eEye) or Secunia CSI -- to ensure prompt updates for these widely deployed Adobe products?

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Jefferson

    This doesn't answer your question, but offers an alternative - don't use Adobe Reader. I am becoming more and more annoyed by Adobe products, the bloat, the cavalier way they wish to install toolbars and what seems to be unnecessary stuff like Adobe.com, and automatic updaters and "speed launchers" which use up your CPU cycles and memory. I'm seriously considering alternatives like Foxit Reader and PDF-Xchange Viewer.

    Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a practical alternative to Adobe Flash Player...

    /rantoff
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  3. #3
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    Small business is always behind in the race to secure the desktop. I can't see how there can be one, or even several, solutions to the problem of updating software, MS or otherwise.
    You need anti virus, spam control, software updates and secure backup before even turning on a computer and small business has neither the time nor the resources.

    Sorry to have provided no useful feedback.

    cheers, Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by jscher2000 View Post
    The increasing number of vulnerabilities and corresponding patches for Adobe Reader and the Adobe Flash Player have surfaced some deficiencies in Adobe's update system. In particular, there is no way to centrally manage updates for these products.

    With the advent of centrally managed security software, and Microsoft Update via WSUS, IT departments have been staffed on the assumption that you wouldn't need to be visiting individual user desktops for routine program updates. While Adobe Reader will check for updates after you launch a PDF, that's a bit late...

    Can anyone share best practices for small businesses -- for whom it it may not be economically feasible to use Retina Network Security Scanner (from eEye) or Secunia CSI -- to ensure prompt updates for these widely deployed Adobe products?
    How about downloading the installation file and saving to a network location. Then use a script when a person logs on to run the installation program. Not elegant but it should work.

    Joe
    Joe

  5. #5
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP View Post
    How about downloading the installation file and saving to a network location. Then use a script when a person logs on to run the installation program. Not elegant but it should work.
    We do use the login script for emergency updates. But it's already too awful the number of things that happen at startup. Perhaps we can use a login script to create a scheduled task on the user's computer to install the update during the lunch hour. A little searching suggest it's possible (at least for users with privileges to install software). Links for x-ref: Microsoft Windows XP Documentation: Schtasks; MSDN: Schtasks.exe (Windows); Technet: Schtasks. If we really think about it, we could probably check the current version number before forcing an update. Hmmm...

  6. #6
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    A basic mechanism could be to set up a Windows Task Scheduler job, running under admin credentials, that looks in a network directory for programs to install. The downside is that you cannot update programs if they are in use, so a bit of user education will be needed.

    cheers, Paul

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