Tuesday, June 18, 2024

IT security firm: Patching (and using original software) pays

While some people find patching or the regular updating of apps and software as unnecessary, Internet security firm Trend Micro says unpatched software — or using pirated software that does not allow patching — can open users to a lot of risks.

The company said software with unresolved bugs or flaws, called vulnerabilities, are a common target of cybercriminals. In most cases, it pointed out, vulnerabilities serve as a starting point for malicious schemes.

?The threat landscape has changed over time. Exploiting vulnerabilities is now a booming business,? said Macky Cruz, security focus lead at Trend Micro.

In a span of just six years, the number of common vulnerabilities has more than quadrupled. In 2012, almost 56,000 vulnerabilities were recorded compared with only 7,000 in 2006.

The added security requirement has increased from the basic five — antivirus protection, file rescue, malware behavior monitoring, and rootkit detection — to ten, the company said.

These include: antispam, social networking security, Windows firewall optimization, safe search result filtering, wireless hotspot and Wi-Fi network authentication, bandwidth manager, mobile phone security, secure browsing, mobile data and backup restore, and mobile app reputation.

Cruz added, ?Cybercriminals took notice of the exponential increase in the number of vulnerabilities. Exploit kits that take advantage of vulnerabilities can fetch a good amount in the cybercriminal underground.?

Prices for individual exploit kits start at P100,000 while a monthly rental of a kit can go for P130,000, noted Trend Micro.

?Religiously updating software is guaranteed to save mobile and desktop users the heartache and hassle of losing valuable data. Selecting the ?auto-update? option on programs and apps can protect your devices and data from threats,? it concluded.

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