Still running XP? Don’t bury your head in the sand

 In ITC's Threat of the Week

For nearly a year now we, in line with very other security company worth it’s salt, have been banging on about the end of support for Windows XP.

The day has arrived. Windows XP will no longer be generally supported with security updates and bug fixes from today. Now.

The obvious problem with this (the no security updates bit) is somewhat exacerbated by the following facts:

  • Other versions of windows contain almost identical core code, which will be continued to be patched.
  • Many government organisations such as the British and the Dutch have signed multi million pound/euro/bitcoin deals to receive bespoke support from Microsoft.

This means that the bad guys may very well be able to reverse engineer patches to Windows7 and 8 or indeed obtain data from the bespoke support packages should they ever leak from the corridors of power, however unlikely that may seem!

Windows XP is already being bullied having an estimated  25% of all infections despite representing only one fifth of deployments. This is going to get worse. A lot worse, especially given the fact that in the hacking world, most of  the bad boys and girls (in fact just naughty boys and girls ) are just going for easy targets using recycled code.

Obviously we urge you to get rid of XP, but we understand if you haven’t done this yet there may be some compelling reasons, such as SCADA systems (actually, a chill ran up this bloggers spine just writing that).

Here is what we recommend you do:

  • Identify the location in the network of your XP machines at all times
  • If possible move XP machine to a dedicated segment(s)
  • If possible provision special IP level restrictions on XP machines using access control lists or firewall rules
  • Monitor XP machine activity for Botnet, Worm and Malware behaviour
  • Make a plan to get rid of XP!

‘But we can’t do that’ you cry, ‘that is dead hard’. We are here to help.

We can deploy technology in your infrastructure to enable you to automatically locate XP machines and automatically move them to a more secure network. We can provision access control lists against these secured networks and monitor them for naughtiness, automatically 24×7, supported by our dedicated SOC team.

These are standard features of out NetSure360° Security management platform.

If you would like some assistance with your legacy XP environment, want a chat about infrastructure security in general, or have some ideas for us to be shared over a beverage, please contact us on: +44 (0) 20 7517 3900 or email sales@itcsecure.com

Author: Kevin Whelan

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