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Bitdefender Says that One out of Five SMBs Still Exposed to Malware Threats

Cbronline.com reported on 17th June, 2014 mentioning a study conducted by security firm Bitdefender which says that one in five SMBs (small and medium businesses) were still using Windows XP for more than a month after the expiry of its support and in the process getting exposed to security risks.

Security firm Bitdefender surveyed 5,000 firms from March to May (2014) and confirmed that hackers are targeting thousands of small companies who are using old operating system with hundreds and thousands of malware attacks in a day.

The research conducted on companies in industries like retail, healthcare and education in UK, Germany, Spain and the US covering wider issues of malware attacks on enterprises.

Microsoft withdrew support for XP on 8th April, 2014 because it tried to shift businesses to recent OSs Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 which means it does not issue patches on the 13-year-old operating system for security.

But Bitdefender found one web marketing company which dealt almost 800 million malicious software attacks during these three months.

HELP NET SECURITY published news on 17th June, 2014 quoting Catalin Cosoi, Chief Security Strategist of Bitdefender, as saying "A few weeks following the expiry of the support, a fresh IE zero-day vulnerability turned into an everlasting threat for XP users."

Itproportal.com also published a statement on 17th June, 2014 quoting him as saying "Microsoft issued a fix for Windows XP users until that. But this was an exclusion which enterprises should not assume that it will occur again. Therefore, it is necessary that they should migrate from XP to recent OSs Windows."

Bitdefender's research also revealed that 37% of employees from SMB are carrying out work remotely or from home which sets the trends of bringing your own device (BYOD) making it vulnerable to security threats. At the same instant, 17% of SMBs permit full access of worker-owned mobile devices to the virtual private network (VPN).

Regarding new versions of Microsoft Windows, 53 businesses have already migrated to Windows 7 Professional whereas a tiny percentage of SMBs have been convinced to upgrade to other versions of Windows including 7 Home Premium and 8.1 Pro.

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