As you may be aware from the previous articles, Windows XP will no longer be supported by Microsoft from Tuesday 8th April 2014.
What does this actually mean to your business and are there any risks to your network?
The simple answer is yes, the end of Windows XP support from Microsoft opens the door to major security risks to your network.
Released in 2001, the Windows XP Operating System has been Microsoft’s flagship Operating System for the best part of 12 years and it is still the second most popular Operating System for businesses across the globe. This clearly demonstrates how user-friendly and effective this Operating System has been, however, Microsoft has taken the collective decision to cease supporting this system to focus on their existing Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems. In effect, this will mean that post-April 2014, millions of PCs and laptops still utilising Windows XP will be extremely vulnerable to attack as Microsoft will no longer provide essential security updates or patches.
Why are the security updates and patches so important?
“The very first month that Microsoft releases security updates for [any] supported versions of Windows, attackers will reverse-engineer those updates, find the vulnerabilities and test Windows XP to see if it shares them,” wrote Tim Rains, the director of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Group. “If it [Windows XP] does, attackers will attempt to develop exploit code that can take advantage of those vulnerabilities on Windows XP, and since a security update will never become available for Windows XP to address these vulnerabilities, Windows XP will essentially have zero-day vulnerability forever”.
In summary, the end of Windows XP poses significant security risks and therefore the time to start planning for any hardware upgrades or replacement PCs and laptops is nigh.
Further information can be located on the Microsoft website using the following link: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/enterprise/endofsupport.aspx.
If you wish to discuss the impact of this on your business in more detail or want to begin planning for any hardware upgrades, please contact us.