According to the "Avast PC Trends Report 2019", over half of all computers used worldwide are running out- of- date software. In the last year, the average PC is 6 years old, up from 5.5 years old in 2017. The report believes this change is because people are still able to get their day- to- day work done with older hardware. This trend could lead to more computers running out- of- date or obsolete software packages. For example, millions of computers still run unsupported and insecure versions of Windows Vista and Windows XP, both of which have been out of support for more than 10 years. Windows 7 is still in use by 43% of PC systems, with Microsoft is ending its support on January 14, 2020. Once support ends, security updates will not be available leading PCs to become more vulnerable to security risks.
So what is the big deal with out of date software? Well, companies like Microsoft and Google, release updates and patches for their software on a regular basis. These patches usually fix small quality of life items or introduce new tools/features. What you may not know is that those patches also fix potential security flaws in software that could be utilized by an attacker to exploit a system. By installing these patches or upgrading your software, you are actively increasing your defenses against potential attacks.
As members of the CWRU community, we should all be responsible users by installing updates in a timely fashion. If these updates are ignored, it leaves the CWRU network potentially vulnerable to attackers. These types of attacks may not only affect your workstation, but can also spread through the CWRU network. This can lead to all sorts of problems for our university members, including identity compromise, data theft/leakage and more.
Are you or someone you know still running out of date software on their PC, mobile phone, etc.? Now that you are armed with the knowledge of the importance of keeping your systems up to date, install those updates and patches you have been clicking the “remind me tomorrow” option on. If you need assistance with this, reach out to the [U]Tech Service Desk anytime at (216) 368-HELP or firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy browsing!
Source: Avast PC Trends Report 2019