The dangers of gambling with unsupported & unsecure software
When it comes to continued use of outdated software, are you putting your business in danger of losing vital data and information? Is your business a ticking time bomb ready to explode into a potential abyss of bankruptcy and going “out of business”?
If your business’s operating system software is well known for being out-of-date and unsecure, the answer is unequivocally yes. That circumstance for many has already come and gone in regard to Windows XP (retired April 8, 2014) and Windows Server 2003 (expired July 14, 2015).
If you’re still using either Windows operating system as the foundation for much of your business operations, you might as well spin the wheel and hope for the best. You don’t want to gamble the future of your business on a roulette wheel.
It’s a Costly Risk You Don’t Want to Take
There are security and industry compliance risks in still using Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 or any other unsupported business software. That’s simply because you will no longer receive product support, bug fixes and patch releases. Any known and unknown vulnerabilities affecting the unsupported operating systems and software create the risk of you losing data from cyber attackers.
Other risks from using deceased business software occur whenever malware makers release malicious codes targeting those unsupported and unpatched systems. Over time, the software developers and security software vendors offering protection for unsupported applications also stop providing detection signatures and product support. With that in mind, any malware targeting old software puts you and your business at risk of losing your data. The worst-case scenario is when your clients’ data are stolen by malware attackers.
How Are You at Risk?
Already, much time has passed since Microsoft ended all levels of support for Windows XP and Server 2003. If you have chosen to remain with these systems and don’t upgrade to a newer supported version, your business faces exposing your business data, financial records and network stability to detrimental risks. Let’s take a closer look.
- Serious Viruses and Security Vulnerability. Without critical security updates, your PC may become vulnerable to harmful viruses, spyware and other malicious software which can steal or damage your business data and information. Antivirus software is no longer able to fully protect you from using unsupported Windows. Hacking attacks or malware intrusion is a greater possibility. In the current climate of security risks, such security issues are likely. Such attacks against your company’s computer systems are costly in terms of lost data, interrupted productivity, and loss of confidence from clients and customers.
- Compliance Penalties. Credit card industries (PCI) and government regulations (HIPAA) require security patching and protections on computers that house records and personal data. A security audit failure or loss of client or patient data results in hefty financial fees and penalties. A recent survey of a variety of businesses found that the average cost of non-compliance ranges between $1.4 million to nearly $28 million, depending on the size of the company. In addition, non-compliance endangers your existing contracts and the ability to secure future business.
- Revenue Loss and Downtime. When unsecure systems are compromised, malicious software takes control of your computers causing slower workflow, unreliable performance and system crashes. That means significant downtime and low productivity which drastically affects your bottom line.
- Lack of Operational Support. Third-party software vendors are likely to be unable to help you with operational support for their products without you also having an updated and supported version. Likely, vendors won’t accept the responsibility of problems that might develop if you continue to use unsupported and unsecured software. It’s also possible that some of your third-party software may not properly work with outdated versions.
Are you concerned about security and compliance issues because your business is still operating with outdated, unsupported and expired software? Then, contact us today to order a complimentary Security IT Audit. With our IT expertise, knowledge of the latest technologies and security solutions, we take away your risk and deliver an easy and efficient migration with no disruptions.