Kaspersky research shows that many businesses still rely on Windows 7 – they need to act now
- Published: Monday, 02 September 2019 15:18
Many small & medium-sized businesses (SMBs) still rely on the Windows 7 operating system (OS), despite extended support coming to an end in January 2020, according to Kaspersky research. Kaspersky researchers analysed the anonymised data of OS use provided by Kaspersky Security Network users (with their consent).
“The widespread use of Windows 7 is concerning, as there is less than six months to go until this version becomes unsupported. The reasons behind this lag vary depending on the software in place, which may be unable to run on the newest OS versions, to economic reasons and even just down to habit. Nonetheless, an old OS is a cyber security risk – the cost of an incident may be substantially higher than the cost of upgrading. This is why we recommend that customers migrate to supported versions and ensure that additional security tools are in place during the transition period,” said Alexey Pankratov, Enterprise Solutions Manager, Kaspersky.
To be protected against emerging threats, Kaspersky recommends that businesses do the following:
- Use an up-to-date version of the OS with the auto-update feature enabled;
- If upgrading to the latest OS version is not possible, organizations are advised to take into account this attack vector in their threat model and to address it through smart separation of vulnerable nodes from the rest of the network, in addition to other measures.
- Use solutions with behavior-based exploit prevention technologies, which help to reduce the risk of exploits targeting obsolete OS.