Experimental Security Panoramas Workshop (ESP), Aug 9-11, 2011, Boise


In this talk we look at the evolution of the security threats and the complexity of keeping a typical end-user PCs and organizations secure over the last five
years. The study is based on data from more than 3.5 million users of the Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI), which provides unique
insights into the distribution and dynamics of programs typically present on end-user PCs.
We present empirical results of correlating security information with typical corporate software portfolios.
We find an alarming development - vulnerabilities affecting the portfolio of the Top-50 programs typically present on end-user PCs almost quadrupled in the last three years. Further analysis identifies third party (non-Microsoft) programs to be almost exclusively responsible for this alarming trend. Patches are found to be an effective means to escape the arms race with cybercriminals and the majority of vulnerabilities have patches ready on the day of disclosure. We quantify the dynamics of critical programs and compare patching strategies to maximize risk reduction with limited resources.