An analysis of 420,000 computers by security company Qualys uncovers many users are being unknowingly exposed to potential malware attack by not keeping browser helper apps up-to-date.
The leader of the pack is Java which was on 80% of the computers sampled with 40% being out-of-date. This also explains why we are seeing more malware exploits targeting Java.
Adobe Reader is in a close second, on 80% of the computers and 30% being non-current. Flash was on 95% and 20% were needing updated.
A majority of malware attacks can be prevented by applying software security updates as soon as they become available. Most attacks exploit weaknesses that have been known and FIXED for 60 days or more.
The apps you most need to keep after are: Java, Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash and Quicktime. Keep in mind if you have multiple browsers on your system you may need to update them separately. If you have a seldom used browser loaded it’s best to just remove it and not have to worry about keeping it updated.