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2014’s Most Vulnerable Applications

By:Christine Fettinger

According to an analysis from GFI Software provided a brief analysis of application and operating system vulnerabilities. They reported on a number vulnerabilities for applications and operating systems.

Let’s take a look at the number of vulnerabilities by application. Internet Explorer ranked the highest, which should be no surprise along with Google Chrome in second place. We should also note that Microsoft Internet Explorer comes bundled with Windows, in most instances you are forced to use IE set as default. IE is often unavoidable when a user launches their brand new Windows OS. Often, users may even find it easier to stick with IE.

GFI reported a number of vulnerabilities ranging from 2009-2014. Their numbers are fetched from the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) database.


Combining these vulnerabilities from IE to Windows—the grand total is 414! Although these statistics are interesting to read they do not provide much insight towards a proper solution. Have these vulnerabilities been patched or unpatched?

Here are the first steps to keep yourself protected. IT administrators must be proactively patching these systems below:

  1. Operating Systems – This is the core foundation of your computer think of it as your pen and paper. Keeping these up to date is critical as it is essential for any workstation.
  2. Web Browsers— based on the facts below, Internet Explorer is the most vulnerable browser out there. Always keep IE updated. Other alternatives include Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. According to the statistics one can reduce vulnerabilities by at least half from switching your browser.
  3. Adobe Products such as Reader and Flash—in the world of business documents it’s important to keep these up to date. We often view important business related PDF documents. By now we should be familiar with the mass amount of flash advertising one would browse through on a regular basis.
  4. Java—some websites utilize Java, it take a few minutes to updates however some recommend removing Java altogether unless a user has a specific need for this.

They claim Apple’s Mac OS X comes in at a whopping 147 vulnerabilities compared to Windows 8.1’s 36 vulnerabilities. If we take a second and add up all Windows vulnerabilities excluding Windows Server we come in with 172 vulnerabilities.

We also need to point out that OS X has major revisions such as Snow Leopard, Lion, and Yosemite; as they can be from any version of OS X. They forgot to mention the Linux Kernel is open source, in short it allows examination by anyone.

vulnerability2What have we learned? These statistics should not determine which operating system you should select. Use it as a tool to keeping track of vulnerabilities and what IT Administrators should be patching often. Although it is often unhealthy to have vulnerabilities; as long as they are actively being patched we can be at ease for a moment. As the popularity of these systems increase we will begin to see more vulnerabilities.

When an attack does occur backups are the most important. We recommend various backup solutions, to find out more contact us at {phone} or send us an email at {email}.