Patch confusion leaves many third-party apps vulnerable

Microsoft’s products have a reputation for their security vulnerabilities, but now it looks like other vendors’ software poses a bigger danger.

Third-party applications are responsible for four times as many vulnerabilities as Microsoft software, according to the latest threat report from security firm Secunia.

The main reason: Microsoft has a simple and centralized update mechanism to make sure its applications are patched quickly.

On the other hand, third-party vendors vary widely in how their updates are delivered. There’s often a significant delay before programs are patched, either because the update wasn’t delivered timely, or the user failed to apply the update.

The lesson for IT pros: Keep an eye on third-party software updates to make sure all critical patches are applied.

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