Windows XP: Is Your Business at Risk?

A few months ago I wrote about the sunset of Windows XP.   We're now closer to the April 8, 2014 date on which Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP and, quite scarily, I don't see many businesses actively preparing to replace their Windows XP systems.

As business owners and managers we spend much of our time dealing with the risk factor in our businesses.   Our job is to anticipate risk, avoid it if possible or, at the very least, mitigate it.    

There is a clear risk to having Windows XP in your businesses after April 2014!   Why? It's simple really.   When Microsoft ceases support for an application or operating system they will no longer patch security holes that are discovered.   There are security holes yet to be discovered in Windows XP AND those holes will be exploited by hackers, foreign governments, and organized crime.   

But... you may say.... we're too small to be a target.  WRONG!   Any Windows XP system - unless it is powered off permanently - is a target.   The botnet controllers will use your unpatched Windows XP system as a drone to launch attacks on other targets.   Your systems will be compromised and your resources wasted.    I can't be any clearer than this... if you continue to run Windows XP systems well into 2014 you will be hacked! 

But... you may say... where's the risk?   Most of us have client data on our systems - perhaps credit card information.   What if that data was compromised or stolen?   What if your customers launched a class action suit against you?  Would you be able to claim that you took all reasonable precautions to secure your systems?  You wouldn't be able to say that if you're still running Windows XP systems after 2014. 

Have I scared you yet?   If so, good!   Start planning today and get rid of the dinosaurs in your company.   If you need help, please talk to us.