MERIT Solutions Blog

MERIT Solutions has been serving the Chesapeake area since 1982, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Businesses Running Outdated Software are Taking a Huge Risk, Study Finds

Businesses Running Outdated Software are Taking a Huge Risk, Study Finds

It goes without saying that businesses that don’t want to invest in the latest and greatest software solutions will be denying themselves the opportunity for more productivity and efficiency, but most of all, security will be put on the line. A new study has proven that there is a direct correlation between businesses that run older versions of out-of-date operating systems and web browsers, and organizations that suffer from data breaches.

The organization behind the study, BitSight, found that out of 35,000 companies analyzed worldwide across 20 different industries, over 2,000 of them had over half of their computers running on operating systems that are out of date. Around 8,500 companies also had been using out-of-date browsers. The study focused on those who use Apple and Microsoft operating systems, and included an analysis of the Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome Internet browsers.

The numbers speak for themselves. Businesses that use outdated operating systems are three times more likely to suffer from a data breach. On the other hand, businesses that use outdated browsers are twice as likely to suffer a data breach. Keep in mind that these numbers don’t necessarily reflect that the outdated browsers and operating systems were the direct causes of the data breach. Rather, they are just one factor that was taken into account during the study.

Of course, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Businesses have long understood that outdated software can provide all sorts of inconveniences, but the amount of organizations that don’t mind dealing with outdated software is a cause for concern. There are far too many businesses out there that don’t take proper care to upgrade away from unsupported software, like Windows XP and Windows Vista.

It almost makes you wonder if your own business is vulnerable to attacks that exploit outdated software, and what you can do about it.

For starters, you can perform a network audit to make sure that none of the software used by your organization--including operating systems and web browsers--are out of date. To do this, you need to reach out to an unbiased and trusted third-party consultant who can give you a clear idea of what needs to be done to shore up weaknesses in your infrastructure. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough, especially in the wake of highly publicized threats like the WannaCry ransomware and other dangerous threats.

MERIT Solutions can be the one to deliver this comprehensive network security audit. To learn more about what we can do for your business, reach out to us at (757) 420-5150.

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