A report, published by Secunia, provider of IT security solutions for vulnerability management, reveals that as cybercrimes grow in complexity and frequency, infrequent patching and security maintenance is leaving users' systems open to exploits.
According to the report, the average PC user in the UK has 76 different programmes installed from 26 different vendors. Of these, 31 are Microsoft programs and 45 are from third party (non-Microsoft) sources. This means that on a typical PC the user is required to master 26 different update mechanisms to address vulnerabilities. 58 percent of the identified vulnerabilities originated from third party programs, 29 percent from Microsoft programs and 13 percent from operating systems.
“Good security management means removing programs that aren't used and regularly patching those that are. However, cybercriminals know that most private users in the UK consider regular security maintenance hard work,” said Morten Stengaard, CTO at Secunia.
The report also reveals that private individuals respond to the single update mechanism for the 31 Microsoft programs but struggle to master the 25 other update mechanisms required for the remaining 45 programmes.
“It's imperative that businesses and private individuals take simple steps to make their computer as secure as possible. The best way for private users to stay secure is to make sure the software on their PCs is always updated with the latest software security updates.”