Microsoft's decision to only issue one patch will allow IT administrators to get their ‘housecleaning' in order for 2009.


The company claimed that after a heavy load of patches in December, the one critical update addresses a vulnerability in Windows but this ‘comes as good news for IT administrators'.


The company said: “The light load also presents a good opportunity for IT administrators to get their ‘housecleaning' in order to kick off the 2009 security planning process.


“This means getting their vulnerability and patching program in place by ensuring all previous patches, both Microsoft and non-Microsoft, have been deployed across their environment using best practices and re-evaluating ways to maximise on their patching process moving forward.”


However it expressed surprise that an out of band patch for Microsoft Security Advisory (961040), which addresses a vulnerability in SQL Server, was not released.


It said: “The company has published a workaround, however, it seems they will not correct the fundamental, architectural vulnerability. For administrators who failed to patch MS08-67 for the RPC vulnerability that was reported back in October 2008, this is the best time to go back and patch the issue as security experts are starting to see new variants appearing in the wild. We're seeing more widespread use of the vulnerability today than we did back in October.”