Windows operating systems: Almost two million computers at risk

Windows operating systems: Almost two million computers at risk

Share post

There are no longer any updates for the Windows 7 and 8 operating systems. This means open security gaps and therefore worthwhile and easy targets for cybercriminals. In Germany, almost 640.000 computers still run these operating systems.

“It is depressing when you see that despite years of information campaigns, millions of users still rely on outdated Windows operating systems. Because: Windows oldies pose immense dangers in everyday office life.

Outdated Windows operating systems are easy targets for criminals

Over 1,8 million computers in Germany still have an operating system dinosaur installed. The end of support for Windows 7 was several years ago, and Windows 8.1 has not been provided with updates for over a year. Anyone who does not act now is acting with gross negligence,” says Thorsten Urbanski, IT security expert at ESET. “These insecure computers are easy for cybercriminals to attack: an unclosed security gap in computer programs can be enough to hijack the computer, steal all private data or integrate the device into botnets after a successful infection.”

According to Urbanski, it can be expensive for companies that continue to use outdated Windows computers in their everyday office life. “If damage occurs here due to hacker attacks, it is unclear whether insurance policies will be effective - because Windows computers that have been out of date for years no longer correspond to the state of the art. Nevertheless, we also see light at the end of the tunnel, because more and more users are switching to a current operating system such as Windows 10 or 11. But the next end of support is already in the starting blocks in 2025 with Windows 10.”

Germany is the leader when it comes to insecure operating systems

When looking at the proportion of insecure operating systems, Germany takes a top spot. Around 4 percent of all Windows computers in German households have an outdated operating system installed. The majority of these (1,15 million) are computers with Windows 7 as the operating system. There have been no more updates for this since 2020. Windows 8 or 8.1 are still installed on almost 640.000 devices, and even Windows XP is still installed on 90.000 computers. For the latter, support ended a decade ago.

Three security tips from ESET experts

  • Update Windows as quickly as possible: Despite getting used to it, you should always use the latest Windows version. An old Windows variant like 7 or XP is a ticking time bomb. ESET recommends users switch to Windows 10 or 11. A Linux distribution can also be a good alternative.
  • Install regular updates: Not only the operating system, but also the firmware and the installed software should always be up to date. If updates are available, they should be installed immediately. Our tip: Always activate the automatic update function.
  • Use security software: Modern internet security software is mandatory. In addition to emails and websites, the security solution must also check removable media such as USB sticks, RAM and the network for malware. The solution should also have an exploit blocker that provides reliable protection in an emergency if an update for the respective software is not yet available. Our tip: Rely on modern security solutions that offer a cloud-based layer of protection. This is specifically used to defend against previously unknown threats.
More at


About ESET

ESET is a European company with headquarters in Bratislava (Slovakia). ESET has been developing award-winning security software since 1987 that has already helped over 100 million users enjoy secure technology. The broad portfolio of security products covers all common platforms and offers companies and consumers worldwide the perfect balance between performance and proactive protection. The company has a global sales network in over 180 countries and branches in Jena, San Diego, Singapore and Buenos Aires. For more information, visit or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.


Matching articles on the topic

Cybersecurity platform with protection for 5G environments

Cybersecurity specialist Trend Micro unveils its platform-based approach to protecting organizations' ever-expanding attack surface, including securing ➡ Read more

Data manipulation, the underestimated danger

Every year, World Backup Day on March 31st serves as a reminder of the importance of up-to-date and easily accessible backups ➡ Read more

Printers as a security risk

Corporate printer fleets are increasingly becoming a blind spot and pose enormous problems for their efficiency and security. ➡ Read more

Cyber ​​attacks increase by 104 percent in 2023

A cybersecurity company has taken a look at last year's threat landscape. The results provide crucial insights into ➡ Read more

The AI ​​Act and its consequences for data protection

With the AI ​​Act, the first law for AI has been approved and gives manufacturers of AI applications between six months and ➡ Read more

Windows operating systems: Almost two million computers at risk

There are no longer any updates for the Windows 7 and 8 operating systems. This means open security gaps and therefore worthwhile and ➡ Read more

AI on Enterprise Storage fights ransomware in real time

NetApp is one of the first to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) directly into primary storage to combat ransomware ➡ Read more

DSPM product suite for Zero Trust Data Security

Data Security Posture Management – ​​DSPM for short – is crucial for companies to ensure cyber resilience against the multitude ➡ Read more