SHA-2 Required to Patch Windows 7 Onward
Microsoft will release a critical standalone security update for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 / R2 in March, which upgrades these operating systems for SHA-2 support.
Due to weaknesses in the SHA-1 algorithm, and to align to industry standards, from July onward Microsoft will sign each Windows updates using the more secure SHA-2 algorithm only.
If you are still running legacy OS versions (Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 SP2) you must update your OS to support the SHA-2 hash algorithms or you risk losing the ability to patch Windows.
Scheduled for the March release, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 will receive the updated SHA-2 code support and it is essential this is deployed to your devices. The biggest threat of this decision will be users who have diverse multi distributed networks or where they have decided to deploy Windows Updates manually or have turned off WSUS.
Cloud Management Suite will include the SHA-2 support on any new content, meaning any device which needs the pre-requisite will automatically be installed to ensure patching is consistent and trustworthy.