Outdated Windows and IE versions still used by many companies, making malware attacks imminent

By: Madeleine Dean
2 minute read

In a recent article, we informed you that the Windows XP dinosaur is alive and kicking, being run by almost 11% of the world’s computers. The same is valid for its brother, Internet Explorer. Worse even, according to a recent Duo Security study, 25% of companies are using outdated IE versions, exposing themselves to major malware threats.

Duo Security analyzed a database of more than 2 million devices used by businesses located worldwide. The results are scary, literally, because 25% of Windows devices are running outdated and unsupported Internet Explorer versions. The same study added that half of all Windows XP devices are running either IE 8 or 7. Currently, nowadays, there are more than 700 known vulnerabilities targeting these IE versions and it is only a matter of time until the devices get infected.

Speaking of Windows, Microsoft has not rolled out any XP upgrades or security patches for two years now, therefore the systems running Windows XP are exposed to risks, making them easy prey for all the malware programs.

The risk is even higher for these companies because they operate confidential data, such as financial statements or bank account information, which are highly-coveted by hackers. What is even more surprising is why the companies do not upgrade their OS and their browsers in order to secure their data. Small companies may not have all the necessary resources to upgrade their OS and browsers, but Microsoft is still letting its users upgrade to Windows 10 for free until June 29.

By contrast, companies using iOS devices are more likely to regularly upgrade their OS:

Apple users may be more likely to update their OS because these updates have been known to be more stable than Windows updates; new OS X versions are also free and heavily promoted. Historically, major Windows updates have a reputation for causing major problems — sometimes even the blue screen of death.

An OS upgrade means access to the world’s most secure browser, Edge. Microsoft constantly rolls out updates for its Edge browser, trying to be one step ahead of hackers, whereas only IE 11 receives updates from the tech giant. Microsoft no longer provides security updates or technical support for older versions of Internet Explorer since January 2016.

Our advice is simple: don’t wait to treat the disease, prevent it!


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