Laura Sharman 13 March 2015

Security warning as 55% of councils use unsupported software

More than half of councils in England are still using unsupported versions of Java, leading to concerns of a future ‘security disaster’, according to new research.

A freedom of information request, conducted by Avecto, found 55% of councils are running out-of-date or soon to be unsupported versions of Java, despite it being a frequent target for cyber criminals.

The research revealed that only 6% of councils are currently running Java 8, the most up-to-date and secure version of the software.

Paul Kenyon, EVP at Avecto said: ‘Java needs frequent maintenance with security patches needing to be rolled out regularly. Unsupported versions are essentially an open door to cyber criminals that target entry to systems via outdated applications or web browsing. Since councils handle a huge amount of sensitive data, it's critical to ensure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

‘Challenges that include compatibility issues when moving to the latest versions, are not an excuse for running unsupported software, particularly when councils are given plenty of notice by the vendor.’

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