It's Patch Tuesday! Party time!

For IT professionals, Microsoft has invented a holiday -- of sorts. The second Tuesday of every month is the day Microsoft releases the latest batch of security patches for it's software: Patch Tuesday. This week, the company has more than half-dozen security fixes, as cyber threats mount for Microsoft and Apple software.

Security and software updates on personal computers are beyond irritating -- just ask NASA. Last month, it lost direct contact with the space station for three hours because of a software update.

"FYI,” one of the astronauts eventually told ground control, “the station's still flying straight."

Well, Earthlings, prepare to reboot. Tomorrow is "Patch Tuesday:" Microsoft's release of software fixes to correct bugs. And expect more of these fixes as hackers become increasingly aggressive, says Chester Wisniewski with network-security company Sophos.

"We see 20,000 new malicious web URLs every day on the Internet. This is a very wide-scale problem," he says, and not just for PCs. "We’ve seen well over a million [Macs] compromised in the last 12 months. So that could be the beginnings of, unfortunately, the Mac catching up with the PC."

But why do the updates have to be so irritating, with pop-up windows and computer restarts?

Wolfgang Kandek, chief technical officer at computer-security firm Qualys, says there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

"The older the software is and the less time a vendor has invested into this mechanism, the more cumbersome it is. Newer softwares do this in a better way," he says. Kandek says more software will update without users even knowing it.

Yet it’s also worth remembering that the only thing more annoying than a security update is getting hacked.

About the author

Sabri Ben-Achour is a reporter for Marketplace, based in the New York City bureau. He covers Wall Street, finance, and anything New York and money related.

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