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Users stray away from IE

20 Jan 2010

With France and Germany suggesting that users abandon Internet Explorer for other internet browsers, Sophos warns of the complications of temporarily switching browsers.

Many users are opting to temporarily ditch IE until Microsoft has fixed the vulnerability that was exploited in recent attacks on Google in China.

A recent poll on the Sophos website found that 14% of respondents thought temporarily switching browsers was the right move, while a whopping 52% thought that users should ditch IE permanently. In the poll, 20% of respondents said switching wasn’t ideal as all browsers have vulnerabilities, while the remaining 15% said there wasn’t a need to switch because security software and sensible precautions would protect users.

Head of Technology at Sophos Asia Pacific, Paul Ducklin, said that companies that are not already supporting a browser other than IE could be biting off more than they can chew with a temporary switch.

“All browsers have vulnerabilities,” Ducklin said. “And even though it’s true that IE is exploited more than any other browser, you don’t achieve security simply by switching.”

Ducklin said that companies who abruptly switch could bring on added problems such as a clogged helpdesk, business-critical applications that have not been properly tested, users who are not familiar with configuring and managing the replacement browser and if your new browser is found to have a vulnerability you’d have to spend time switching again.