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Kaspersky urges Windows 7 users to upgrade

The cyber security company is keen to explain the dangers of sticking with old Windows operating systems

Security software firm Kaspersky has warned of the dangers of using outdated operating systems such as Windows 7. A recent report comprised of data shared by the Kaspersky Security Network reveals that a vast proportion of PC owners still use outdated like Windows 7 or – in extreme cases – the now-archaic Windows Vista.

The figures are remarkable: Kaspersky reports that a total 41% of participating consumers – of the personal variety – still use Windows 7 or Vista. Perhaps more worryingly, 40% of very small businesses (VSBs) and 48% of small/medium-sized businesses (SMBs) still rely on outdated operating systems. 

Of the 41% of us still struggling along on some form of obsolete OS, 2% still use Windows XP; 0.3% use Windows Vista; and 38% are overly attached to Windows 7. Long considered one of Microsoft’s best operating systems, Windows 7 is currently used by approximately 48% of all VSBs and SMBs. 

As far as Kaspersky is concerned, the risks are clear. Enterprise solutions manager Alexey Pankratov explains in a blog post that “an old unpatched OS is a cybersecurity risk – the cost of an incident may be substantially higher than the cost of upgrading.

Pankratov suggests that businesses are likely to fall prey to cost-cutting measures, software/hardware limitations or simply habit, all of which might prevent an operating system from being updated. 

He also points out that support for Windows 7 is drawing to a close – although Microsoft has committed to supplying further security updates to a few lucky enterprise customers – and recommends that consumers upgrade immediately to avoid a potentially costly security breach further down the line.

Windows 7 will officially bite the dust on 14 January 2020, while Windows XP hasn’t had a single patch in over ten years. If this isn’t a sign that it’s time to upgrade, we don’t know what is.

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