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  • Are Windows 10 Updates Necessary

    Posted on Kathy Stevens Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Questions: Win10 Are Windows 10 Updates Necessary

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      • #2168678 Reply
        Kathy Stevens
        AskWoody Plus

        We are a small firm that does quantitative analysis.

        Each day we download thousands of data points and input them into our data base that contains 20+ years of data. We then run our models that forecast regional market conditions.

        The foundation for our analysis is our work stations that include Intel Xeon Silver processors, 16 GB of memory, and one 7.6TB SSD drive as well as one 2TB drive. For quality control, we use four work stations that run in parallel.

        Our primary analytical software is MathWorks MATLAB and Esri ArcGIS Pro.

        At present we are using Windows 10 Pro Version 1903 Build 18362.592. We have uninstalled or disabled all of the apps and features that we can, disabled all but the essential default apps that remain, and turned off all Privacy options.

        Because of our growing concern about viruses, privacy, and telemetry we are considering isolating the work stations from the internet, i.e. cutting the cord.

        With the machines working in isolation from the internet, is there any need to download and install monthly Windows updates moving forward?

      • #2169164 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        I would say “yes and no”.
        If you can keep them isolated and have good backups then updating is more hassle than benefit.
        If people can download / copy / run external programs then patching is probably a good idea. If they are in a stable environment such that you can restore without issue, then patching, even with internet access, is optional.

        The thing that seems to stop people / businesses these days is ransomware, and that is all about backups.

        How do you will you isolate them and still retain access to your data?

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2169316 Reply

        Plan for a way to still have offsite backups.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2169393 Reply
        Kathy Stevens
        AskWoody Plus

        Our business model is based on four principles and a prayer:

        1. Keep it simple stupid
        2. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it;
        3. Occam’s razor – of two competing theories, the simpler explanation of an entity is to be preferred;
        4. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you; and the prayer
        5. Good Lord protect us from ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties, and things that go bump in the night!

        With respect to our IT setup:

        • Yes, we can keep our analytical machines isolated and have good offsite backups;
        • We have avoided setting up a server. Instead we download the daily data sweeps to external drives, scan them for viruses, and upload the data into the data bases of each analysis machine;
        • No, people cannot download, copy, or run external programs on our dedicated data mining, analysis, and results distribution machines and we have separate/isolated machines for customer interface and research; and
        • Our greatest perceived threats include ransom ware and a growing concern related to Microsoft releasing a destructive update for Windows 10.
      • #2169655 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        I see no reason to update the workstations. Make sure you have image backups so you can restore quickly if required.

        I’d revisit your data transfer mechanism. That’s more work than I’d be happy with, but maintaining isolation is the tricky bit.

        Ransomware protection is about having backups that are isolated from any infected machines. A NAS with snapshots is one solution.

        cheers, Paul

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