Applying 'Patches' to Software

Patches are software bug 'fixes', that is, they resolve problems reported by users. Usually available for downloading on the vendor's Web site, their use requires consideration of the relevant security issues. See Downloading Files and Information from the Internet. This topic assumes that the patch files are already on your system.

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  • If a patch is applied incorrectly or without adequate testing, your system and its associated information can be placed at risk, possibly corrupting your live data files.

  • Verify that the patches are necessary and come from an authorised source, normally the software developers.
  • Always test patched versions of software prior to release for live use. See System Testing.
  • The testing and implementation of patches should not compromise your software library updating procedures. See Managing Program Source Libraries.
  • Apply patches only with management authorisation.
  • Monitor these procedures so that patches cannot 'slip through the net'.
  • Ensure you receive updates to the system documentation.
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