Patch Management / Outdated Operating Systems
Outdated operating systems is an IT vulnerability categorized under patch management in the CWE directory (CWE-749). It is also classified as a vulnerability in the OWASP Testing Guide under the 'Infrastructure' category. Outdated operating systems are versions of operating systems that are no longer supported by their respective vendors and lack security updates, making them vulnerable to malicious cyber attacks.
Outdated operating systems can be exploited due to the lack of security updates and can lead to a wide variety of cyber security incidents, such as denial of service attacks, data breaches, and malware infection. The risk associated with this vulnerability can range from low to high depending on the system, with high risk systems including those connected to the internet or used to store confidential information.
The best way to address this vulnerability is to patch or upgrade the operating system to the latest version. If patching is not possible, users should apply security measures, such as patching third-party applications and disabling services that are no longer needed, to reduce the risk of an exploit.