WEB & TECH / JUN. 06, 2014
version 2, draft 2

Stay Secure by Updating Your Technology

You have probably already heard that Microsoft as of April 8, 2014 stopped support for its Windows XP operating system. Microsoft no longer offers new security and other updates, free or paid assisted support options, and online technical content updates. This can put you in quite a predicament if your software malfunctions, and your business is put at a halt for a temporary time until you fix the problem.

You might want to consider updating to Windows 8 if your business is still running the now outdated Windows XP. Still hesitating or procrastinating updating your system? Well, visualise the following scenario…

Write you debit card pin number on a piece of paper, go to an ATM machine, insert your card into the machine, take out the piece of paper where you wrote you pin number and walk away from the machine! It’s crazy right? Well, that’s essentially what you’d be doing if you ignore the recommendation to migrate to the new Windows.

  • It’s like being in a sinking ship without a life boat

Your business will be at great risk without the essential, routine security updates, you’ll be left to your own devices and in the dark, with PCs vulnerable to spyware, harmful viruses, and other malevolent software. Any new vulnerabilities discovered after support ended for Windows XP—and rest assure hackers will find them; that’s the nature of hacking—those security holes will not be protected if you have an out of date software.

  • How attackers work

After support ends, when Microsoft releases its monthly security updates for supported versions of Windows, attackers will reverse engineer those updates to identify any vulnerabilities that exist in Windows XP. If they do exist, attackers will develop code to take advantage of them.

The result is that your business and operating system will be open to theft, damage, business disruption, and downtime—all unwanted outcomes for any business model.

  • Times change and so do the threats

Security threats have dramatically changed since Windows XP was developed more than a decade ago. Key security features such as Windows XP’s Data Execution Prevention (DEP) are routinely bypassed now a day. And as each new threat evolves, your Windows XP system will be increasingly at risk. Remember, Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10 feature security improvements unavailable for Windows XP and Internet Explorer 8.

  • You need to migrate now to reduce your risk/vulnerability to hackers

OK, so now that you’ve been informed of the risk of not updating to windows 8, it’s time to take action to reduce the risk to your business. The first step is to see whether your PCs meet the new system requirements. You will need to go to the Microsoft website, and test out your system to see if it meets the requirement for an upgrade to windows 8.

Also, Chief among multiple benefits is that you can simply do more with the new Windows. This includes seeing your productivity increase and gaining a greater flexibility to work remotely. In the long run, you’ll spend much less money with Windows 8 than you will maintaining an aging system.

Keep in mind that technology is constantly changing, and we all need to keep abreast of the changes in order to avoid being vulnerable to hackers who can then potentially cost your business a substantial amount of money if your security and data is compromised.

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