For the longest time, Microsoft has published a list of security bulletins on the second Tuesday of each month, famously known as Patch Tuesday. Each bulletin is numbered with a prefix that designates the year it was released, followed by a sequential number. While the controversial schedule worked out quite well for Microsoft and the IT customers, the technical content of these security bulletins isn’t that easy to follow and keep in place.
The latest Security Bulletins Index has a 57 pages updates released from 2008 all the way to November 2016, with each update including details about that patch for each software it affects and the links to Knowledge Base numbers that contain additional details.
Well, this is going to change in early 2017, according to Microsoft. After the January 2017 Update Tuesday release, we will only publish update information to the Security Updates Guide, which is a database-driven portal that lets you sort, search, and filter the database to find details about a specific security bulletin and its associated updates.
In the portal, you can filter by product category to find all updates that are only related to one or a few products, narrow down a date range, or simply search the KB if you know the number. The search results appear in a grid that you can filter directly using a text box or sort by clicking column headings.
Each entry in the search results contains links to the associated KB article and to details about the vulnerability and affected products, as well as the download link for that update.
Most importantly, the entire list or any filtered subset can be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet in CVE format, allowing IT pros to integrate security information into their own infrastructure without having to manually scrape the index.
The Security Portal is currently still in beta.The bulletins for November 2016 through January 2017 are being published to both the old index and the new portal. But after January 2017, new bulletins will only be published to the new portal.