A powerful internet attack—dubbed SQL Slammer—that hit computers worldwide Jan. 25 has security experts worried that too many system managers are only fixing problems as they occur, rather than keeping their defenses up to date. The problem underscores the need for school technology managers to monitor security bulletins carefully and download the latest software patches as soon as they are made available.

The worm—which crippled tens of thousands of computers worldwide, congested the network for countless others, and even disabled Bank of America cash machines—took advantage of a vulnerability in some Microsoft Corp. software that...

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