Almost a quarter of users are still running a Windows OS without mainstream support: Survey

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on May 03, 2021

24% of users are still running a Windows OS without mainstream support

Almost a quarter of users are still running a Windows operating system (OS) without mainstream support, according to a study by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky.

Kaspersky conducted a study based on anonymized OS metadata provided by consenting Kaspersky Security Network users.

According to the survey, 22 per cent of PC users are still using the end-of-life OS Windows 7. Official support for Microsoft Windows 7 ended in January 2020.

When an OS comes to the end of its lifecycle, the vendor stops providing updates for the OS including critical security fixes.

“When operating systems reach end-of-life, vulnerabilities will remain without update patches to resolve issues, providing cyberattackers with potential ways to gain access to a system. Therefore, it is critical to update your OS to protect your system or business network from this avoidable issue,” Kaspersky said.

Among those still using Windows 7, consumers, small and medium businesses (SMBs), and very small businesses (VSBs) occupy almost the same share – 22 per cent each, as per the report.

“It’s noteworthy, that almost a quarter of VSBs still use the outdated OS and, particularly considering that they do not have dedicated IT staff responsible solely for cybersecurity – it makes it more important to ensure their OS is up-to-date. For now, businesses can still receive extended paid support for Windows 7, but this means extra expense – and this offering will not be available forever,” itsaid.

Apart from this, Kaspersky’s findings also showed that less than 1 per cent of people and businesses still use older operating systems, such as Windows XP and Vista, support for which ended in 2014 and 2017, respectively.

Overall, 24 per cent of users are still running a Windows OS without mainstream support. This includes Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP, Windows Vista.

While 72 per cent of users are using Windows 10, the latest version of Windows OS, which appears to be the safest choice as well.

“Updating your operating system might seem like a nuisance for many. But OS updates are not just there just to fix errors, or to enable the newest interface. The procedure introduces fixes for those bugs that can open a gaping door for cybercriminals to enter. Even if you think you are vigilant and protected while online, updating your OS is an essential element of security that should not be overlooked, regardless of any third-party security solution’s presence,” said Oleg Gorobets, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Kaspersky.

“If OS is obsolete, it can no longer receive these critical updates. If your house is old and crumbling, there is no point to install a new door. It makes more sense to find a new home, sooner rather than later. The same attitude is needed when it comes to ensuring the security of the operating system you trust with your valuable data every day,” added Gorobets.

Published on May 03, 2021

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