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Support for Windows XP Ends April 8th, 2014

Microsoft are calling an end to Windows XP support. Any business running Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) will no longer be able to receive security updates,?non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support option or online technical content updates. This means that if an exploit is found, no security patches will be available, leaving your computers at an increased risk from hackers. Read more here.

At 12 years old, and one of the most popular operating systems, many businesses will be using Windows XP; some may have already upgraded, although some may be ignoring the warnings, and planning on sticking with Windows XP. However there are a number of reasons why this is a dangerous strategy.

What are the risks of continuing to run Windows XP after its end of support date?

  • Hackers. The main risk is, of course, the security of your computers. The lack of security updates will leave the system open to attack. This is because many hackers, upon the release of a new security update will times reverse engineer the update in an attempt to identify the specific part of the code that is vulnerable. Once they understand where the original fault was, they look for systems that haven?t been updated and protected by a security update, and exploit the system this way. The majority of malware authors use outdated software as a path into your PC. This could leave your computer and important documents at risk.
  • The first month without support will be the worst, but hackers will continually attack Windows XP systems as newer updates for other Windows Operating Systems roll out. This is because as soon as XP security support stops, the hackers will be aware of XP?s lack of updates, and for each update for newer versions of Windows? they will find the weaknesses and exploit these weaknesses within XP.
  • IT support packages will be unable to support your XP systems. As XP will no longer be a secure, supported platform, AdaptiveComms will be unable to offer remote assistance or troubleshooting. Updating to a newer operating system is essential to ensure your business can continually, and fully benefit from the IT support you receive.

Some may believe that their anti virus software will block attacks and scan for any malware, and that they are safe to continue with XP. However this is a risky strategy as the?attackers, from the 8th of April will know how to exploit the computer base, which could potentially allow them to run any code of their choice. Do you really want to leave the security of your business data as an ?it might be ok??

What do businesses that are still on XP need to do?

There are a few options available. Firstly, if your business computers are outdated, it may be worth updating your hardware; this may be the expensive option, but a new computer will certainly be equipped with the Windows 7 or 8. A full IT overhaul can be fully managed, installed and set up by AdaptiveComms. To ensure we provide the correct hardware for your needs, we can offer a 2 week trial of any hp product. For?more information click here. If your computers are relatively new, it may be possible to download Windows 7 or 8. This won?t work in all cases as your PC?s may not be new enough to operate a newer system. Our Microsoft certified IT team are able to come to your premises to carry out an audit, and advise and assist all businesses of the best options for their needs and existing hardware.

Do not delay in updating and securing your systems. To find about your options visit our website for a live chat to an AdaptiveComms advisor, or call 01704 540 547 to speak to a member of the IT who can discuss your available options

Even without considering the security risks, your business could benefit from a modern, upgraded operating system.

Be sure to upgrade from Windows XP by the 8th of April 2014, to ensure your business? IT security and support!