Time is running out. Microsoft support for Windows XP officially ends on April 8th. After that, there will be no new security updates, hot-fixes, or Microsoft tech-support options available for XP.
For 12 years, Windows XP has been implemented by both businesses and home users. XP users have had opportunities to upgrade to Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8, but the experts estimate that 1/3 of all Windows users are still using XP. This leaves a large group of XP computers that are at a significantly higher risk for new attacks.
Users may find the transition to a new operating system a bit overwhelming. The truth is that many organizations have not migrated because of the learning curve, costs, and the difficulty in migrating other legacy applications. Here are some highlights to help you understand this transition and keep your data safe.
What are the risks?
Leaving XP on any computer opens up your business to a higher risk of new attacks. Your computers are not protected by the latest updates that are continually enhanced and re-designed to keep your systems clear of evolving cyber-attacks and data compromises. Many devices in your organization can be influenced by a single XP machine. We recommend that your IT professionals conduct an IT review to evaluate where these XP computers are located. Threats can come into your business and gain access to your infrastructure through a single device if precautions are not taken to protect your business data. So make sure to check all machines, including that computer in a corner office, the one connected to your conference room projector, etc.
When should I plan my migration?
Immediately! In fact, in many cases it may be too late to complete a migration in large organizations before the end of life cycle. Experts migrating large organizations have experienced migration projects with timelines of 9 to 12 months.
Protecting your data is all about Network Management. In the event that a machine is compromised, an employee’s iPhone is stolen, or an unprotected remote worker’s “home” computer is hacked, the criminal may have direct access to your data. Threats are everywhere and the businesses of tomorrow understand the necessity to invest in the security of their network.
How can I mitigate my risk now?
If you cannot migrate fast enough, we recommend that you focus on minimizing the risk by isolating your XP machines. Heighten your security through use of network security and firewalls to minimize the risk of spreading any threats to the rest of your network. Monitor traffic on any XP machines carefully, as randomly surfing the net on an unprotected machine could be devastating to your business. Criminals will use any access point to get into a business’ network and from there, just as Target recently experienced, they can steal your data and take your business down.
Questions? We can help! Call us at (443) 795-5142
Talk to a Light Industries expert today. We can provide a project plan to migrate your old XP computers to the latest platform.
By Jessica Tinordi, Jessica.Tinordi@lightindustries.com