Secunia: Windows Users Need to Update Every 5 Days
Article by George Norman
On 09 Mar 2010
It is a well-known fact that in order to stay safe and protected, you need to keep all the applications on your computer, and your operating system, patched and up-to-date. Updates bring with them stability fixes and security patches; so unless you want to be running a vulnerable application, you need to update.

Just how often does the update process need to take place? According to Secunia, company that provides security advisories, information about patches, and software for vulnerability management, Windows users typically have to update every 4.8 days. Secunia gathered data from more than 2 million users that have Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) and an average of 66 other applications installed on their machine. What Secunia uncovered is that an average of 75 patches from 22 separate vendors need to be downloaded; which in turn requires the user to perform a patch action every 4.8 days.

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All the data Secunia gathered has been put together in a whitepaper entitled “The Security Exposure of Software Portfolios” – you can read it here (PDF warning).

The downside is that most users are not willing to invest the time it takes to keep their system fully patched and thus secure. Secunia believes that not even advanced computer users are not up to the job of patching their systems as often as the whitepaper indicates.

“The core of this patching issue is that the software industry has, so far, failed to come up with a unified patching solution that can help home users on a large scale; that is, encompassing all software programs. To exemplify the consequence of this, referring to the data above, this means that in order for the user to install the 75 patches from the 22 different vendors, he or she has to master more than 22 different updating mechanisms, which is outside the bounds of what you can expect from a typical home user,” explained Secunia’s Chief Security Officer (CSO), Thomas Kristensen.

That is why version 2.0 of Personal Software Inspector (PSI) will be able to offer users a unified patching solution. To put it bluntly, PSI 2.0 will inspect the user’s system and all the applications installed on it and will allow users to automatically install updates for this wide range of applications. The latest, stable version of PSI is v. 1.5. Version 2.0 – a Beta version – will be offered free of charge to home users at the beginning of May.



Tags: Secunia, Personal Software Inspector, PSI, Security, Windows
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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