The average Microsoft Windows user has software from 22 vendors on her PC, and needs to install a new security update roughly every five days in order to use these programs safely, according to an insightful new study released this week.
The figures come from security research firm Secunia, which looked at data gathered from more than two million users of its free Personal Software Inspector tool. The PSI is designed to alert users about outdated and insecure software that may be running on their machines, and it is an excellent application that I have recommended on several occasions.
Stefan Frei, Secunia’s research analyst director, said the company found that about 50 percent of PSI users have more than 66 programs of installed.
“Those programs come from more than 22 vendors, so as a first order estimate the number of different vendors you have on your box is the number of different update mechanisms you have to master,” Frei said. “This is doomed to fail.”