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Kasper Lindgaard, Director of Research and Security at Secunia.

Secunia publishes PSI Country Report for Saudi Arabia for Q2 of 2014

: Monday, July 14 - 2014 @ 13:38

Secunia, the leading provider of IT security solutions that enable businesses and private individuals to manage and control vulnerability threats, recently published the Personal Software Inspector (PSI) Country Report for Saudi Arabia for the second quarter of 2014.

The report reveals that the average PC user in Saudi Arabia has 86 programs installed from 30 different vendors and that 7.0% of these are no longer patched by the vendor – an increase by about 35% from Q1 2014.

While cyber security makes up one of the fastest markets globally and the Middle Eastern market is estimated to be worth several multi-billion over the next decade, cybercrimes continue to grow in complexity and frequency which translates into more vulnerability windows for exploitation that hackers can use to access critical personal data.

According to Secunia’s report, Microsoft programs represent 39% of the overall share of programs installed on Saudi PCs, while the remaining 61% come from third-party vendors. The security of a PC is largely controlled by the number and type of programs installed on it and to what extent these programs are patched. Secunia reveals that 49% of vulnerabilities come from third-party vendors. Also, 17.9% of users have unpatched operating systems such as Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. On the average PC, 15.8% of third-party programs are unpatched compared to 5.2% for Microsoft programs. Whilst there is a single update mechanism for the 34 Microsoft programs, 29 different update mechanisms are required to patch the remaining 52 programs from the 29 third-party vendors.

The Secunia KSA report also released the top most exposed programs based on market share and percentage of unpatched users. Once again, the Microsoft XML Core Services 4 is found to be the most exposed program after it was recognized as such in the previous report for Q1 2014 released in April 2014.

“Although no new vulnerabilities have been discovered in Microsoft XML Core Services 4 for the past 12 months, 2 old vulnerabilities continue to haunt PC users who still have not patched. In KSA, 72% of PC users who use the Secunia PSI had Microsoft XML Core Services installed in Q2 2014. 53% of these users had not patched the program, even though a patch is available. This means that an estimated 38% of Saudi PCs are made vulnerable by MSXML 4. And since we can assume that computer users who install the Secunia PSI on their PCs are more security aware than the average user, we suspect that 38% is a conservative number.The situation can be remedied by installing the latest service pack for the software, which is also offered to consumers through the Secunia PSI and to businesses through the Secunia CSI. Once the latest service pack is installed, patches will once again be offered correctly through Windows Update,” said Kasper Lindgaard, Director of Research and Security at Secunia.

Kasper continued, “The state of security on private PCs is quite stable, for better or worse. The conclusion for the Secunia KSA report is that private users still have a long way to go when it comes to vulnerability awareness – which means understanding that it is important to apply security patches to vulnerable software programs to protect their PCs, and the data on them, from hackers.” Commenting on Adobe Flash Player topping the list of End-of-life programs with a 66% market share, Kasper explained: “it is always recommended to remove End-of-Life programs from your PC as they are no longer maintained and supported by the vendor and do not receive security updates. They must therefore be treated as insecure. If you identify and remove End-of-Life programs you have made your PC a great deal more secure.”

Vulnerabilities are discovered in software programs on a regular basis, and the vendor will usually release a patch for users to apply in the form of a security update. However, the latest findings from Secunia suggest that there is a significant increase in the number of programs that are no longer patched by the vendor. If users do not perform these updates, their PC will be vulnerable to attacks because hackers can use the vulnerability as an entry point. The best way for private users to stay secure is to make sure the software on their PCs is always updated with the latest software security updates. The Secunia PSI Country Report for Saudi Arabia data reflects the state of Secunia PSI users and shows that Secunia PSI users are more secure than other PC users.

For more info please contact:
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Nadine Mazraani
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +97143900376

Active (Digital. Marketing. Communications)
Lisa Stoffel
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +97143642191

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Monday, July 14- 2014 @ 13:38 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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