Microsoft: 24 percent of PCs not protected with up-to-date antivirus software

Earlier today, Microsoft launched the latest version of its Security Intelligence Report, where it stated that malicious and corrupted websites are now the biggest PC security threat to enterprise customers. Another part of the report talked about PC protection in general and the stats show a lot of computers are simply not well protected from malware and other virus threats.

In a post on the official Microsoft blog, the company posted up a new infographic that shows, among other things, that 24 percent of PCs are currently not protected with the latest versions of antivirus software products. The study shows that those particular PCs are 5.5 times more likely to get hit with a malware or virus attack.

The blog says that there are three reasons why such a large portion of PCs don't have enough antivirus protection. Some PCs simply don't have any antivirus software installed at all while others don't keep their software up to date. The third reason is that malware creators can actually disable a PC even if it has sold antivirus software. The blog states:

For instance, if a system is missing security updates or a person has fallen victim to a scam and clicked on a malicious link or attachment, malware may infiltrate the computer and turn off the antivirus software. In cases like this, people are oftentimes presented with fake warnings enticing them to provide credit card information for fake antivirus software, also known as “scareware”. People might be running fake antivirus software without knowing it. It’s easy to be fooled because scareware typically looks like the real thing. In the second half of 2012, Microsoft removed one prevalent scareware package, called Onescan, from almost 3 million systems worldwide.

The company is urging PC users to download some kind of reliable antivirus software product and keep it up to date, whether it is made by Microsoft or a third party company.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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24 Comments

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I go with and without an AV quite often. Usually only have 1 installed for testing purposes.

Like now, I'm running Panda's free AV and it seems ok. Doesn't slow down any of my computers and I run real old s**t compared to most of you people here.

Even the 2 totally crap a** machines upstairs can handle running Panda without slowing down.

I would not want some noob running unprotected though, so I generally recommend an AV, thus, why I test them sometimes.

I do have say that AV's are over rated though as proven by my oldest brother. He still get's infected to the point I have to reinstall Windows quite regularly. That works out to my benefit most of the time though as he is my mechanic on my vehicles, so it usually works out to be a trade!

Wow, the image is actually readable on Neowin this time!

As for me, I don't bog my system down with an AV. I used to when I was paranoid, but every time I ended up removing it because of something that either broke while it was running or because I felt my system running poorer than it should've been; and this is with higher-end performance based AVs, like ESET's offerings.

Every few months I do a large scan with multiple antivirus/malware/rootkit/etc. programs; always comes up clean. Feel like I do more harm to my Windows install than good by installing these software; think I won't bother anymore.

and what happens when a site you visit on a regular basis and is trusted by you suddenly starts serving viri from an infected ad or pic ????? your not even going to know you've been infected worse still your PC has now become part of an bot farm

Like always, common sense > best antivirus of the market.

Also, what's stink about the newest antivirus is the amount of false alarms. Also, sometimes, antivirus generates their own class of troubles.

If you want a good AV that doesn't bog down your system and give heaps of false + then I suggest you go take a look at avtest.org and pick one it isn't hard also I use Avasts latest version and never had an false + and it doesn't slow me down one bit

AV doesn't even mean one is protected. AV by definition is reactive - it may protect against potential threats that have already found their way into one's system. Hardware firewall + software firewall and closing all unnecessary ports and programs are more important.

Phouchg said,
AV doesn't even mean one is protected. AV by definition is reactive - it may protect against potential threats that have already found their way into one's system.

Do what? So I click Run as I download something or run an installer over a network and that's not proactive blocking when it pops up stopping the threat from entering your system?
It's actually both. Equally a firewall is reactive in blocking programs that are running but also proactive in blocking inward bound communication too. One without the other is a poor security solution though as they tackle very different problems.

Not aimed at you but I'm amazed when people suggest leaving themselves open to an entire attack vector by not installing AV or disabling UAC etc etc since they all add up to a greater level of security. All can be bypassed given endless scenarios but relying on a half-solution just seems illogical to me.

If MS were really concerned, they would buy a competent AV company and co-opt its tech into Windows instead of Defender. But then they would probably get blamed for violating anti-trust laws or some bull****.

well, MS want users to use MS's AV (Windows Defender),
so the AV could unblock the ads, which made using hosts files entries.

~Neowin~ said,

Firewall for geeks

Firewalls are good. Unfortunately there is only one good one. Kerio Personal Firewall 2.1.5.

FalsePositive said,
AV is for noobs.

I really share this though, not with the same words but... if you require active AV protection running on your pc, stealing processor power then... obviously there is no real power over the pc.

FalsePositive said,

Firewalls are good. Unfortunately there is only one good one. Kerio Personal Firewall 2.1.5.

You genuinely made me LOL then !

Or maybe they uninstalled it like I did. I was using MSE but it kept deleting my VPN software, and making the computer crawl. Delete MSE and the computer works properly again!

FalsePositive said,
AV is for noobs.
Agreed... Never had AV, and have yet to get a virus. Common sense is the best AV around, and it's free (albeit rare)

darkpuma said,
Agreed... Never had AV, and have yet to get a virus. Common sense is the best AV around, and it's free (albeit rare)

Problem is when you experiment a global slow down, and no virus detected.
And rootkit are particularly hard to detect, from what I've understood.