Patching applications is the most costly security job that companies face, according to Microsoft's head of security.
Craig Fiebig, general manager of Microsoft's security business unit, said the firm would continue its policy of releasing software updates on Wednesdays, but admitted that providing reliable, easy-to-install patches was an issue.
Fiebig (pictured) also acknowledged the policy of patching was rendered less effective because of administrators' dislike of network downtime.
"It's the hardest one to solve," Fiebig told vnunet.com at InfoSecurity Europe. "In dollar terms, patching is the most expensive security measure and keeping your antivirus descriptions up to date is the least.
"If customers could do both it would eliminate the bulk of security problems."
The programme used for Microsoft's own staff training has provided a base for partner seminars and will form part of the UK's first undergraduate computer security module, to be offered at the University of Leeds from 2004.
The software giant has also set up a new Security Partnership Programme, with participating members receiving up to £10,000 in marketing funds.
To qualify, firms must support two consultants and an engineer trained in ISA server, and work with Microsoft to agree a suitable business plan.
So far Unisys, Fujitsu Services, Lynx Technology, SCC, DNS, Vistorm and Silversands have all signed up.
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