Microsoft released the 16th edition of its Security Intelligence Report last month and the results are sobering. The report offers a snapshot of trends in software vulnerabilities, software vulnerability exploits, and malicious software during the second half of 2013.
The report found that vulnerability disclosures across the industry increased 6.5% between the first half of 2013 and the second half. At the same time, about 21.2% of all reporting computers worldwide encountered malware each quarter in 2013 and the United Kingdom had the 5th most computers reporting malware encounters. Deception-based attacks, such as phishing e-mails, fake security software and ransomware that extorts money by pretending to represent law-enforcement agencies, remain prevalent concerns.
But the news isn’t all bad. Generally speaking, older versions of Windows face higher encounter and infection rates than modern models. Windows 8.1 had by far the lowest rate of infections and encounters. Using modern software and keeping it up to date with patches is the single easiest thing you can do to minimize risks for your machine.
But of course, computer security isn’t just an individual concern. Offices all over the world need to be protected too. So what can IT departments do to minimise exposure to malware, exploits and vulnerabilities?
To learn more about Microsoft’s dedication to online safety, visit Trustworthy Computing.