Software Updates

Policy Notice | Departmental Computers | Personal Computers | Mobile Devices


Policy Notice

UW Policy requires that all devices on the network have anti-virus and be up-to-date.

Devices connected to the University of Wisconsin-Madison network by any means must:

  • run up-to-date anti-virus software, when available, and
  • keep all operating system software, device firmware, application software and other software current with the latest security-related patches from the vendor.

In cases where it is not possible to update software or firmware, the device must be protected by other means, such as, but not limited to, a dedicated firewall or limited network access.

The University reserves the right to suspend access to preserve the integrity of the network.


Departmental Computers

The Biochemistry IT Group works with the primary contact on record for departmental computers to verify that updates are performed regularly.  All departmental computers need to be part of the Biochemistry IT Inventory so that update audits can be tracked.  The Inventory also records key data about the computers such as serial numbers, MAC addresses, etc. which can be used in the event of theft, etc.

Biochemistry IT utilizes a number of tools to help with patch management, deployment and auditing purposes.  The key tools are listed below.

  • IBM Endpoint Management - This is a cross-platform patch management and deployment tool that is provided as a service from DoIT and campus security.  This tool allows Biochemistry IT to push software updates to departmental computers to ensure patches are applied quickly and consistently.
  • Secunia CSI - This is a cross-platform auditing tool.  This tool checks the versions of software installed on departmental computers and compares it to the current secure version available.  Biochemistry IT staff is able to quickly check for update compliance on a variety of software packages using this tool.

Biochemistry IT does need assistance and cooperation from the various users of departmental IT resources to ensure updates are installed in a timely fashion and that restarts are done on a regular basis so updates can be applied.  Please make sure ALL departmental computers are restarted regularly if they are not shut down each evening.


Personal Computers

The UW Policy applies to personal computers used to access campus resources. If you use a personal computer on the UW network or for UW related work, it must be kept up-to-date and you are responsible for performing the updates.

Please note that these suggestions are not all-inclusive, this is just the starting point Biochem IT uses when we check a computer for updates. There is a wide range of software that may be installed on any individual computer and it is the responsibility of each user to ensure that all software is kept up-to-date.

Mac OS | Windows | Linux

Mac OS

  • Use the Apple App Store to check for available updates to Apple software and any applications you purchased through the App Store.
  • Check for Adobe Flash updates
  • Check Adobe Acrobat, Reader, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. for updates
  • Check Java for updates
    • Visit Do I have Java? to see if you have Java and if it is current
    • If you don't use Java we strongly recommend not installing it or removing it from your computer!
  • Check Firefox/Chrome for updates
  • Check ALL other software you have installed for updates

Windows

Biochemistry IT strongly encourages anyone with a Windows based computer to download and install Secunia PSI.  This free software automatically scans your computer and detects insecure software.  In most cases it is also able to automatically apply updates.

Secunia PSI can be downloaded for free from the Secunia PSI website.

To manually check for updates please do the following:

  • Use Windows Update to check for Microsoft Updates
    • Ensure Windows Update is set to check for updates for Windows and other products from Microsoft Update
  • Check Adobe Flash for updates
  • Check Adobe Acrobat, Reader, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. for updates
  • Check Java for updates
    • Visit Do I have Java? to see if you have Java and if it is current
    • If you don't use Java we strongly recommend not installing it or removing it from your computer!
  • Check Firefox/Chrome for updates
  • Check for Apple updates (there should be an Apple Software Update program if Apple software is installed)
  • Check ALL other software you have installed for updates

Linux

Each distribution is a little different.  Please check the documentation for the type of Linux you are using and perform the OS level updates.  You also will need to check any software that has been installed on the computer for updates.


Mobile Devices

Mobile Devices used on the UW wireless networks or to access campus email, etc. must also be kept up to date.  Please check with the appropriate OS vendor for instructions to check for application or OS updates.