IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Businesses brace for second 'Fujiwhara effect' of 2020 as Patch Tuesday looms

Organisations set for a day of chaos on 14 April as vendors plan to fix 500-plus software vulnerabilities at once

weather

Software giants will release fixes for hundreds of bugs in unison for the second time this year, at a time when IT teams are already under pressure from mass adoption of remote working and surging cyber crime.

The forthcoming Patch Tuesday, on 14 April, will see as many as 500 vulnerabilities released by the likes of Microsoft and Oracle, causing a phenomenon dubbed the ‘Fujiwhara effect’. Such a security event is ordinarily rare, with the last one before 2020 occurring in 2014. 

This year has been no stranger to coordinated bug fixes, with next Tuesday representing the second ‘Fujiwhara effect’ in 2020, according to Risk Based Security. This is in addition to a third event scheduled to hit on 14 July.

Such coordination of bug fixes poses a challenge for security teams, who must analyse and prioritise hundreds of disclosures before remediation can even begin.

This coming Tuesday may see as many as 300 to 500-plus fixes released, according to forecasts. This is significantly higher than average, with roughly 60 flaws published per day, normally.

This latest onslaught will also come at a time when employees have begun working from home en masse, and cyber criminals have been empowered by the COVID-19 pandemic to ramp up activity significantly.

“Even for large organizations, processing these new “Patch Tuesday” disclosures can take weeks, and that’s with a well-funded and coordinated team,” said Risk Based Security. “The hours required for IT security teams to collect, analyze, triage, and then address the coming vulnerabilities will be considerable.

“If there wasn’t enough going on already, organizations must somehow manage the coming Vulnerability Fujiwhara Effect despite the current business disruption and pressure on security budgets.”

The ‘Fujiwhara effect’ in meteorology is known as an extreme weather event in which two massive hurricanes collide or merge.

The last cyber security ‘Fujiwhara effect’ on 14 January, saw more than ten major software players participate, including Adobe, SAP, Schneider Electric, VMWare, Intel, as well as Oracle and Microsoft, among others.

The release of so many patches at once, numbering more than 300, saw IT and security teams across the world scramble to implement updates to their business-critical systems.

Among these fixes was a Microsoft-developed patch for an "extraordinarily serious" cryptographic flaw anchored in the crypt32.dll Windows component, with organisations like the US military given advanced access to the fix.

Winding forward some months, organisations are facing greater challenges than arguably ever before, in terms of the economy and the labour market, not to mention cyber security threats increasing significantly over the last few weeks. 

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) this week issued a joint-warning with US cyber security authorities warning businesses of a surge in cyber criminal activity, most of which was attempting to exploit the coronavirus pandemic.

Featured Resources

Big data for finance

How to leverage big data analytics and AI in the finance sector

Free Download

Ten critical factors for cloud analytics success

Cloud-native, intelligent, and automated data management strategies to accelerate time to value and ROI

Free Download

Remove barriers and reconnect with your customers

The $260 billion dollar friction problem businesses don't know they have

Free Download

The future of work is already here. Now’s the time to secure it.

Robust security to protect and enable your business

Free Download

Recommended

CIO Priorities: 2020 vs 2023
Whitepaper

CIO Priorities: 2020 vs 2023

23 Sep 2022
The future of work is already here. Now’s the time to secure it.
Whitepaper

The future of work is already here. Now’s the time to secure it.

21 Sep 2022
What is the Computer Misuse Act?
Policy & legislation

What is the Computer Misuse Act?

2 Sep 2022
Escape the ransomware maze
Whitepaper

Escape the ransomware maze

23 Aug 2022

Most Popular

How to secure your hybrid workforce
Advertisement Feature

How to secure your hybrid workforce

23 Sep 2022
What your hybrid workforce needs from their laptops
Advertisement Feature

What your hybrid workforce needs from their laptops

21 Sep 2022
Why collaboration is key to digital transformation
Sponsored

Why collaboration is key to digital transformation

13 Sep 2022