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Unpatched software, human factor behind data breaches: F-Secure

London: Most of the companies fall victim to cyber attackers either because of unpatched software with known vulnerabilities or because of the human factor like people falling victim to phishing emails, Finland-based cyber security firm F-Secure said on Monday.

According to the firm, the exploitation of known vulnerabilities is still the root cause of most breaches while all other security measures are just secondary measures designed to catch attacks that happen because of these two reasons.

“Still, companies are fixated on zero days and the newest methods of attack which are often fairly restricted and obscure,” said Janne Kauhanen, cyber security expert at F-Secure, in a statement.

The massive “WannaCrypt” ransomware attack is the most recent example of a known vulnerability being exploited to great effect.

“The outbreak is based on a Windows Server Message Block (SMB) vulnerability, MS17-010, that had been patched by Microsoft in March. The spread of the worm would have been reduced had more systems been kept up to date,” the firm noted.

It takes 103 days for a vulnerability to be remediated while a new security vulnerability is identified every 90 minutes.

“The best way to handle cyber threats is to actually foresee them by fixing vulnerabilities before they can even be exploited,” added Jimmy Ruokolainen, Vice President, Product Management at F-Secure.

With shadow IT, external misconfigurations, and potentially vulnerable partners, companies aren’t usually aware of their entire attack surface, he added.

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