The Adobe Flash Phaseout: what it means for you and Cybersecurity

Adobe has recently announced the decision to gradually phaseout its Flash format and is working with partners to maintain the plugin and ensure a smooth transition until the Adobe Flash phaseout is complete in 2020.

Outdated and full of vulnerabilities, Adobe’s Flash is causing more harm than it is good. It’s a consistent threat to web users’ systems everywhere and its usage is decreasing as the use of HTML5, WebGL and Web Assembly grow. According to Google, 80% of desktop Chrome users were accessing a page running Flash three years ago and that figure has dropped to only 17% this year.

Flash is infamous for its numerous security vulnerabilities. According to CVE Details, the ultimate security vulnerability data source, there have been over 1,000 reports of Flash cybersecurity vulnerabilities, which have given cyber criminals the opportunity to worm into victims’ computers and take advantage of stolen personal information.

In the past year, six of the top 10 vulnerabilities incorporated by exploit kits affected Adobe Flash player. And in 2015, Adobe was named winner of the most frequently exploited product for Flash.

Plagued by lengthy update strides, Flash has often suffered attacks due to lags in software updates. The average update cycle for Flash is six weeks. Flash, and other platforms, face an infinite loop of security updates as hackers quickly expose holes.

The difference between Flash and others? Simply the number of users and the number of apps/programs tied to it. As other platforms become more popular, they will likely suffer at the hands of hackers as well.

The solution? While no surefire solution exists, maintaining software via recommended updates and utilizing cybersecurity tools is still the #1 way to protect your system.

The Adobe Flash phaseout gives security professionals and web users everywhere a breath of fresh air, but it’s important to note that with a large stem of online security vulnerabilities withering away, cyberattacks elsewhere remain relevant and growing as threats to organizations. ISACA’s 2017 State of Cyber Security Study stated that 80% of survey respondents said they expect cyberattacks to hit this year but still feel unprepared.

Moving forward, Cybersecurity continues to be of utmost significance as organizations everywhere strive to face the growing issue of hackers.