22% of PC users still running end-of-life Windows 7 OS

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Mumbai: 22% of PC users are still using the end-of-life Windows 7 OS, according to a Kaspersky study. Windows 7 OS stopped receiving mainstream support in January 2020.

The conducted study was based on anonymized OS metadata provided by consenting Kaspersky Security Network users. When an OS nears to end of its lifecycle, the vendor will no longer issue any more updates, including critical security fixes.

Although a trusted operating system may seem fine on the surface because it does everything the user needs it to do. But if the vendor no longer supports it, then it could be susceptible to attacks.

When operating systems reach end-of-life, vulnerabilities will remain without update patches to resolve issues, providing cyber attackers with potential ways to gain access to a system. Therefore, it is critical to update your OS to protect your system or business network from this avoidable issue.

Consumers, small and medium businesses (SMBs) and very small businesses (VSBs) are among the 22% of PC users that still using Windows 7 OS. Each of these segment holds almost 22% of each.

It’s noteworthy, that almost a quarter of VSBs still use the outdated OS. Considering that they do not have dedicated IT staff responsible solely for cybersecurity. And that 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 indicated only less than 1% of people and businesses still use the older OS, Windows XP and Vista – for which support 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 as well.

“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,” said Oleg Gorobets, Senior Product Marketing Manager – Kaspersky.

“Even if you think you are vigilant and protected while online, updating your OS is an essential element according to MS Extended Security Updates FAQ, the last term of ESU will end in 2023,” added Gorobets

“Among such OS are: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP, Windows Vista. A security that should not be overlooked, regardless of any third-party security solution’s presence. If OS is obsolete, it can no longer receive these critical updates,” informed Gorobets.

“If your house is old and crumbling, there is no point to install a new door. It makes more sense to find a new home, sooner rather than later. The same attitude is needed when it comes to ensuring the security of the operating system you trust with your valuable data every day,” concluded Gorobets

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