Kaspersky has conducted a study based on anonymized OS metadata which found that almost one quarter (22%) of PC users are still using the end-of-life OS Windows 7, which stopped receiving mainstream support in January 2020.
Although a trusted operating system may seem fine on the surface because it does everything you need it to do, if the vendor no longer supports it, it could be susceptible to attacks. 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.
Among those still using Windows 7, consumers, small and medium businesses (SMBs), and very small businesses (VSBs) occupy almost the same share – 22% each. It’s noteworthy, that almost a quarter of VSBs still use the outdated OS and, particularly considering that they do not have dedicated IT staff responsible solely for cybersecurity – it makes it more important to ensure their OS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.
Kaspersky’s findings also showed that only a small percentage (less than 1%) 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, almost one quarter (24%) of users are still running a Windows OS without mainstream support. Fortunately, 72% of users are using Windows 10, the latest version of Windows OS, which appears to be the safest choice.
Comments Oleg Gorobets, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Kaspersky:
“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.”