130,000 Swiss Windows computers run on insecure versions

There are around 2.7 million computers in Swiss households that run the Windows operating system. The vast majority of households have the latest version installed. Nevertheless, over 130,000 devices are still running with an outdated version. This is the conclusion of the security software provider Eset.

The Swiss use these Windows operating systems. (Source: Screenshot / Eset)

The last end of support concerned Windows 7 about two years ago. Regardless of this, the operating system is still installed on 120,000 computers. Extended support for Windows 8.1 will end on January 10, 2023. From then on, security gaps will no longer be closed for these versions. This offers a large target area for cyber criminals. Eset recommends private users and companies to plan the change now if they are still working with Windows version 8.1.

“Security flaws like Log4Shell are only the tip of the iceberg,” said Thorsten Urbanski, security expert at Eset. “However, they clearly show that private individuals and companies are facing similar problems and challenges. Software that is no longer maintained by the developer must be replaced immediately. The use of such software is grossly negligent. For private users and especially companies it can be Damage can become expensive. A weak point, for example in an operating system that is no longer supported, is sufficient and attackers have their foot in the door and permanent access to the victim’s computer, “he says. “The current figures also show a positive development. Security awareness is increasing: Many private users have used the past year and brought their computers up to date. Year-on-year, there are around 100,000 fewer unsecure Windows computers on the network in Switzerland The view into the future is positive. The use of Windows 8.1 is declining and horror scenarios like the end of support for XP or 7 will not occur in 2023. “

Less insecure computers than last year

The number of devices with an outdated operating system has fallen by 43 percent – from 230,000 to 130,000. The figures would show that Internet users are becoming more aware of security, but that offers to upgrade to a current version are also being accepted.

Around 70 percent of all desktop PCs and laptops in Switzerland use Microsoft Windows. At a slightly larger gap, MacOS follows with 28 percent, which makes up more than 1.2 million devices. Only around one percent of the devices have a variant of Linux installed.

Almost 70 percent of the Swiss use a Windows operating system. (Source. Screenshot / Eset)

In order to protect yourself from cyber attacks and cyber criminals, according to Eset, the following three tips should be followed:

  • Update Windows: The latest Windows version should always be used. An old Windows variant like 7 or XP is a “ticking time bomb”. Eset recommends that users switch to Windows 10 or 11. A Linux distribution could also be a good alternative.

  • Regular updates: Not only the operating system, but also the firmware and the installed software should always be up-to-date. Updates made available must be installed quickly. If available, Eset recommends enabling the automatic update function.

  • Use security software: Modern “Internet Security Software” is a must. In addition to e-mails and websites, the security solution must also check removable media such as USB sticks, the network interfaces and the RAM for malware. The solution should also have an exploit blocker that provides reliable protection in an emergency if an update for the respective software is not yet available.

Incidentally, Eset also makes 10 suggestions in the cybersecurity area, which should make the new year safer. You can read about it here.

If you want to read more about cybercrime and cybersecurity, register here for the weekly newsletter from Swisscybersecurity.net. The portal has daily news about current threats and new defense strategies.

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