Network Security, Patch/Configuration Management, Vulnerability Management

Cisco sets dates for IOS patch releases

Cisco has announced plans to release patches for its Internetwork Operating System (IOS) software on a regular schedule, much in the same way that Microsoft and Oracle issue product fixes on scheduled dates.

The networking giant said in a notice that it will distribute patches for its IOS, a core software package that sits on widely deployed Cisco routers and switches, on the fourth Wednesday of March and September each year. The first scheduled release date is March 26.

"Cisco is adopting this approach in response to extensive feedback from customers, who seek further predictability for support planning and deployment cycles," the note said.

The company said that despite the schedule, it still plans to issue security advisories at any time documenting major vulnerabilities or exploits.

Last year, Cisco released at least seven security advisories addressing IOS flaws.

Like Cisco, Oracle and Microsoft both have shifted to formalized release dates in an attempt to assuage IT management concerns. Oracle releases quarterly updates, while Microsoft pushes out patches on the second Tuesday of each month.

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