Outdated software biggest cyber-breach culprit

Better update that software, people.

Did you update Flash on your PC? How about Java? According to cybersecurity firm Avast, you probably didn't, and that's the number one cause of cybersecurity incidents.

Avast just released a new report, entitled Avast PC Trends Report January 2017. It is based on insights from the company’s AVG TuneUp product, and says that more than half (52 per cent) of the most popular PC applications are outdated.

That way, Avast claims, people are exposing their data to cybercriminals, as their machines become vulnerable to malware and ransomware.

Drawing intel from 116 million Windows machines worldwide, here are the ten most out-of-date programs:

  • Java (Runtime 6,7), Oracle Corporation
  • Flash Player (Active X), Adobe Systems
  • Foxit Reader, Foxit Software
  • GOM Media Player, Gretech
  • Nitro Pro, Nitro Software
  • WinZip, Corel Corporation
  • DivX, DivX LLC
  • Adobe Shockwave Player, Adobe Systems
  • 7-ZIP, Igor Pavlov
  • Firefox, Mozilla

“In the online world, your security habits, such as keeping your software updated, play a big role in your level of your protection on the Internet,” said Ondrej Vlcek, Chief Technology Officer, GM and EVP Consumer Business at Avast. “Running outdated programmes leaves PC users susceptible to attacks from savvy hackers exploiting easy-to-find or known vulnerabilities. The cause of people using outdated software may be that updates don’t install properly or they postpone or forget to update even when prompted. We recommend people get into the habit of doing a regular status check on their PC, use an automatic software updater tool like the one we provide in AVG TuneUp and make sure their AV is always kept up-to-date.”

There you have it, boys and girls. If you want to keep safe, better update that software.

Image source: Shutterstock/Nicescene