ITC Security Threat of the Week – Week 8: Windows XP Deadline Approaches

Microsoft will end support for XP on April 7th, 2014.

Microsoft users are faced with a dilemma; there is now less than one year until the company withdraws any support or patching for Windows XP. Although this operating system may seem like a relic of the last decade, a staggering 40% of PCs still run it and therein lies the problem.

Users of XP after the deadline hits, will be on their own when it comes to fending off hackers, malware and viruses. This is a tangible security threat since the Windows XP signature is very easy to identify programmatically.

Experts have warned that those who have yet to begin the process of migrating away from XP are unlikely to complete it by the deadline of 8th April, 2014. Although Windows XP was released back in 2001, it’s clear that the OS has remained popular and there are many reasons for this. One of the main culprits being Windows Vista, which was highly unpopular with many Microsoft customers, thanks in the most part to a multitude of software bugs.

XP was and is a very stable operating system however the implications of a zero patch environment are very scary indeed.

Released in 2009, Windows 7 ended up being a hit with many PC users as it improved on the mistakes of its predecessor. Unfortunately by this point, many people were apprehensive of upgrading from XP and remained loyal to their tried and tested OS.

The future isn’t looking any brighter either as a survey by Avast found that a massive 70% of PC owners will not upgrade to Windows 8.

Running an unpatched, unsupported operating system presents enterprises with data protection and audit issues that are blindingly obvious to the general public. At board level, there may be the shadow of the millennium panic: ‘so what’.

ITC recommends our clients to upgrade to Microsoft Windows version 7 before 07/04/14.