On April 8th, 2014, Microsoft will end its support for Windows XP and Office 2003. When support ends for Windows XP, there’s a much greater risk for small businesses and individuals to experience complications and security risks.
When Microsoft released Windows XP and Office 2003, it committed to a minimum of 10 years support with ongoing security updates and upgrades. However, on April 8th 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, free or paid-assisted support options, or updated online technical content.
Significant security risks exist for organizations that choose to ignore the end of support for Windows XP.
When an organization fails to replace or upgrade its operating system and old software, inherent security and compliance risks exist. For example, CPAs, attorneys, and professionals required to maintain client records and documents created in Windows XP, will likely experience complications with the end of Microsoft’s support. Furthermore, organizations must consider any specialized software packages that are configured to run on Windows XP; there’s no guarantee that these will continue to work as they have in the past.
Plus, without regular patch updates, Windows XP will become a huge target for cyber criminals. Organizations face increasing levels of risk from cyber criminals who are intent on conducting malicious attacks in the form of viruses, Trojans, and botnets.
While these threats don’t always rely on a system vulnerability to gain access, many of them do, and it’s unavoidable, even with anti-virus and anti-malware software. Anti-virus software is intended to be the last line of defense to detect and resolve malware after it’s been executed on a system. Even as a last line of defense, anti-virus software falls short in many areas outside of its control or ability to respond in a timely manner.
According to Conceivably Tech, around 600 million people are running Windows XP, which is equal to 38% of the market, or one in ten people. It’s essential for the security of their data and business that these users upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8.
Have questions about Windows XP in your Canada business environment? Call NSI right away. We are your trusted Canada IT professionals and we can help you plan your upgrade from Windows XP and help you avoid many of the pitfalls associated with this upgrade. Contact us today at (403) 984-9001 or (780) 800-0644 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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