OS fragmentation poses security headaches: report

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Friday, 28 April, 2023

OS fragmentation poses security headaches: report

The fragmentation of operating systems and application usage is presenting significant security and compliance challenges for organisations, according to new research released by Absolute Software.

The company’s 2023 Resilience Index challenges the long-held belief that having more security solutions equates to more protection, arguing that growing endpoint and network complexity is creating conflict among applications, while impeding patching and maintenance activities.

More than 80% of devices analysed for the report use Windows, with the large majority on Windows 10. But within that device population, there are 14 different versions and more than 800 builds and patches to manage, the report found.

Absolute’s telemetry data also shows there are 67 applications installed on the average enterprise device, with 10% having more than 100 applications installed.

The growing popularity of remote work is also posing headaches for IT security teams, the report found, compounding existing device health and security challenges with a broad mix of networks, hardware, OS versions and patches.

Absolute Software President and CEO Christy Wyatt said a key takeaway from the report should be that security solutions that are not installed and working properly cannot protect the user.

“The criticality of these security controls, especially among remote and hybrid workers, cannot be overstated and the ability to keep them healthy is often oversimplified. Even market-leading, world-class software requires repairing for many reasons: changes in the environment around it, or new forms of risk introduced by adversaries or even by the user,” she said.

“By applying intelligence and automation to heal them, we can remediate the risk, restore the user experience and ensure compliance.”

Image credit: iStock.com/DKosig

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