Secunia ‘http://secunia.com/resources/countryreports/‘, 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 first quarter of 2014. The report reveals that the average PC user in Saudi Arabia has 86 programs installed from 29 different vendors and that 5.2% of these are no longer patched by the vendor. With cybercrimes growing in complexity and frequency across the globe, this translates into more vulnerability windows for exploitation by hackers.
According to Secunia’s report, Microsoft programs represent 40% of the overall share of programs installed on Saudi PCs, while the remaining 60% 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 58% of vulnerabilities come from third-party vendors. Also, 17.4% of users have unpatched operating systems such as Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. On the average PC, 14.3% of third-party programs are unpatched compared to 3.4% for Microsoft programs.
Morten R. Stengaard, Secunia CTO, said, “A lot of users have PCs that are inadequately patched and therefore easily compromised. As a result, cybercriminals tend to exploit any security gaps to access sensitive information. We are on a mission to secure PCs worldwide and as the Middle East is a booming technology market we want to make users aware of the threats to their PCs, and the solutions available to help secure them. We truly believe the Middle East and in particular Saudi Arabia could benefit greatly from the advantages of vulnerability management to secure their critical data.” Stengaard continued: “Saudi Arabia is the biggest IT market in the region and findings from our report show that the users need education on the necessity of applying security updates to the programs on their PCs.”
Secunia releases quarterly country reports which provide insight into software security focusing on the presence of vulnerable software on private PCs in a number of countries including Saudi Arabia. The reports are based on data from the millions of users of Secunia’s free consumer security software, the PSI. The data includes the average numbers of installed programs, patched and unpatched, on private PCs and information on the 10 most exposed programs, the number of programs installed on PCs, the share of Microsoft and non-Microsoft (third-party) programs and the prevalence of End-of-life programs.
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. 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.
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