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People are patching up Windows and that's a good thing

Microsoft is doing its part protecting its users from hackers, but it can't do everything on its own, according to new figures released by Secunia Research.

The security organisation published its Country Reports, covering Q2 2016 for 12 countries, and according to the report – the number of unpatched Microsoft Windows operating systems is on the decline.

Compared to Q1 this year, when there were 6.1 per cent of unpatched systems, there are now 5.4 per cent. Same time last year, there were 10.3 per cent.

“The decline in unpatched Windows operating systems is remarkable and encouraging,” noted Kasper Lindgaard, Director of Secunia Research at Flexera Software. “It will be interesting to see if this trend continues over the long run, especially as Windows 10 and its automated updates become more widely deployed.”

However, Microsoft is alone in this battle, and this is a battle one can’t win alone. Non-Microsoft programs are still remaining unpatched, the same report suggests, meaning users are still exposed to a multitude of vulnerabilities.

The amount of unpatched non-Microsoft programs is actually on the rise. There are now 12.6 per cent of users with unpatched programs, up from 11.9 per cent in Q1 this year, and up from 11.3 per cent in Q2 2015.

“If users install software but then ignore alerts and fail to initiate the patch process when a vulnerability is found, they will remain exposed to that vulnerability,” said Lindgaard. “That is very unfortunate and has the potential to result in a bad outcome.”

There you have it, boys and girls – patch your stuff up!

Photo credit: charnsitr / Shutterstock

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.