The National Vulnerability Database reported an average of 19 vulnerabilities per day in 2014. Although that figure is an average across all areas, it’s still staggering and sobering to realize that 7,038 new security vulnerabilities were added to their database last year (not to mention what could be countless others that went unreported).
GFI Software recently crunched the numbers, separating vulnerabilities by distribution type and coming up with a list of the top operating systems as it relates to reported vulnerabilities. Here’s what they found.
In terms of distribution, a whopping 83 percent of vulnerabilities were found in applications while 13 percent were related to operating systems. The remaining four percent was credited directly to hardware issues.
Looking at operating system vulnerabilities, you may be surprised to learn that Microsoft is no longer among the top three in terms of reported security issues. The number one spot goes to Apple’s Mac OS X with 147 total vulnerabilities reported last year – 64 of which were considered high-level threats.
Second place belonged to another Apple operating system, iOS. Of the 127 reported issues, 32 were considered to be top-priority threats. Rounding out the top three was Linux with 119 reported incidents. Only 24 of them, however, were deemed high-level vulnerabilities.
It’s worth mentioning that the remaining seven operating systems in the top 10 were all Microsoft products. Specifically, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Vista and Windows RT – in that order. If you were to consolidate all of those into a single "Windows" category, then Microsoft would jump ahead of all others by a sizable margin.
Internet Explorer topped the list of application vulnerabilities followed by Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. To see a trio of browsers at the top is no surprise given our heavy reliance on the Internet.