Windows malware threat growing

Windows has never been under such a strong malware attack as it is today. According to new research from security firm Avecto, the number of vulnerabilities targeting Microsoft's operating system increased by 52 per cent last year.

After analysing Microsoft's security bulletins, the company discovered there were a total of 524 vulnerabilities last year, where 251 (48 per cent) were described as 'critical'. That basically means the affected computers could have been victims of a break-in.

Microsoft's Office was the target in 11 per cent of the cases, with 62 vulnerabilities. This represents an increase of 210 per cent compared to a year before. From these 62, 16 were critical.

Windows 10 was also struck hard, with 27 per cent of malware targeting Microsoft's latest operating system, one it calls 'the most secure Windows ever'.

Mark Austin, co-founder and co-CEO at Avecto said: “Given the current state of the security landscape, it’s no surprise that the number of vulnerabilities increases every year, but a large proportion of the business community still remain ignorant to the most effective measures that should be taken in mitigating the risk associated with these vulnerabilities.”

The solution for the majority of these issues, according to security researchers, is quite simple – remove admin privileges from users' accounts.

“From a hacker’s perspective, getting access to admin rights is like an open door into the corporate network,“ says Sami Laiho, Windows security expert and Microsoft MVP. „By having unrestricted admin rights you are essentially inviting malware into your organisation. By removing those rights you are closing that door and locking it, stopping unwanted intruders in their tracks.”