We’ve begun to countdown the last months before Microsoft ends support for Windows XP® and Office 2003®. It happens April 8th, 2014 and it’s critical that you update the Operating System and Office applications on all computers connecting to your network (including home computers) before the deadline. Although your computer(s) will continue to run, the security risks are substantial. After that date, not only will your computer network be at risk but you could put everyone that connects or shares information with you at risk as well. It’s a big enough concern that some larger organizations are requiring compliance before they will continue to do business with you.
End of support means Microsoft will stop releasing security patches for Windows XP and Office 2003. Without patching, the exploitation of security vulnerabilities will go unchecked. Keep in mind, Windows XP was developed for a very different time in the evolution of technology. It wasn’t designed for today’s wireless and mobile world. Many experts think that attackers are already planning a series of attacks that will launch when XP reaches its’ end of life. In addition, companies that developed and released software and drivers for XP are no longer updating existing programs or writing new applications for it.
Not only is the end of support date a Pandora’s Box for security threats, it could also legally affect your company. Currently, forty-six states have data protection laws. Using out-of-date software with so many vulnerabilities could mark your company as non-compliant and result in costly litigation and penalties.
Upgrading and deploying new software takes time. You will need to move applications and data, and also make sure that they all function properly on the new version of Windows. It may even require that you purchase a new computer. If you haven’t started the process to switch yet, now is a perfect time to begin so your company can meet the April 8th deadline.
In the end, using Windows XP or Office 2003 past this date is a liability to your company. If you have any questions or need help devising a plan to migrate your business to newer versions of Windows and Office contact us at 330-945-5685. We can help.