In 2000, Microsoft released 100 security bulletins and patches. This year the company is on a pace for about 50-60 patches. But with several flaws rolled up into each patch, and a rash of extremely urgent flaws recently, patch management is not much easier than it was a few years ago. Microsoft has taken steps to improve its processes, and the company has major changes planned for the near future. In the meantime, third-party patch management vendors are trying to help IT plug the security dike.