Microsoft products are used by billions of people worldwide. Historically, however, they are known to have many vulnerabilities that pose security risks to users of the software.
According to data presented by the Atlas VPN team, the total number of vulnerabilities in Microsoft products reached 1,268 in 2020—an increase of 181% in five years. Windows was the most vulnerability-ridden Microsoft product. It had a total of 907 issues, of which 132 were critical. However, Windows Server had the largest number of critical issues. In 2020, 902 vulnerabilities were detected in Windows Server, of which 138 were critical.
Issues were also found in other Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer. Together, these browsers had 92 vulnerabilities in 2020. In total, 61 or even 66% of these vulnerabilities were of critical level. Meanwhile, Microsoft Office had 79 vulnerabilities, 5 of which were critical.
Ruth Cizynski, the cybersecurity researcher and author at Atlas VPN, shares her thoughts on the situation :
“These numbers are a massive problem because every Microsoft product has millions of users. Therefore, it is important that consumers update their software applications on time. Software updates can include security patches that can fix vulnerabilities and save users from getting hacked.”
Elevation of privilege is the most common Microsoft vulnerability
A wide range of vulnerabilities was discovered in various Microsoft products last year. However, some types of vulnerabilities were more common than others. Elevation of privilege was the most frequently detected issue in Microsoft products. It was discovered 559 times and made up 44% of all Microsoft vulnerabilities in 2020.
Next up is remote code execution. In total, 345 such vulnerabilities were found last year, putting it in second place on the list. Remote code execution accounted for 27% of the total number of Microsoft vulnerabilities in 2020.
Information disclosure occupies the third spot on the list. There were 179 such issues discovered in 2020. Together, they made up 14% of all Microsoft vulnerabilities that year.
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