As careful observers of expiration dates on food items like milk, eggs, bread and other food products, the idea of a product being past its due-to-expire date is not new.
We wouldn’t think of hiding that expired milk in some cookies! Any more than a couple of past-due eggs in an omelet. So when it comes to a computer’s operating system, it’s no big deal. Right?
Honestly. It’s time for a change! XP Pro is past its expiration date for support. With April 8, 2014, over a month in the past, Microsoft no longer provides security updates or technical support for Windows XP. End of support means you should take action. There are potential risks you as a business owner need to be aware of.
Security updates patch vulnerabilities that may be exploited by malware and help keep users and their data safer. PCs running Windows XP after April 8, 2014, are not protected, and it is important to migrate to a currently supported operating system – such as Windows 8.1 – to receive regular security updates to protect the computer from malicious attacks.
Windows 8 is an operating system with in excess of 10 years of architectural and security enhancements over XP. Plan your migration today to avoid problems tomorrow.
Every computer operating system is vulnerable to security attacks, constantly needing OS patches, antivirus updates and configuration changes to thwart those potential attacks. XP Pro is already a popular target for hackers because it is so widely used – over 500 million copies prior to the general end of support announcement.
The lack of security updates will make XP Pro look even more attractive to cyber attackers. “XP systems on the Internet will be like drops of blood in shark infested waters.”
Without Microsoft XP Pro updates, and with anti-virus and other vendors publicly declaring they will no longer support XP, companies that keep XP going do so at their own peril.
Business planning and budgeting can be improved by reference to Microsoft’s webpage on lifecycle dates. A quick look at this page not only lets you know when an operating system is reaching its end-of-life, but will also tell you the lifecycle of Office software. For example support and updates for Office 2003 is no longer available.
Potential risks of staying with Windows XP Pro
Running Windows XP SP3 (XP Pro) may expose you to these potential risks:
Without critical Windows XP security updates, your PC may become vulnerable to harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software which can steal or damage your business data and information. Anti-virus software will also not be able to fully protect you once Windows XP Pro itself is unsupported.
Businesses that are governed by regulatory obligations such as HIPAA may find that they are no longer able to satisfy compliance requirements. More information on HHS’s view on the security requirements for information systems that contain electronic protected health information (e-PHI) can be found here (HHS HIPAA FAQ – Security Rule).
Lack of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Support:
Many software vendors will no longer support their products running on Windows XP as they are unable to receive Windows XP updates. For example, the new Office takes advantage of the modern Windows and will not run on Windows XP.
Hardware Manufacturer support:
Most PC hardware manufacturers will stop supporting Windows XP on existing and new hardware. This will also mean that drivers required to run Windows XP on new hardware may not be available.
Give life to your business “omelet” by using fresh ingredients. Preempt the disruption that holding on to XP Pro will cause. If you have any questions about establishing an update path for your business, please contact Alliant at (626) 461-1300.