Microsoft is releasing a patch for Windows XP! Yes, this security risk is THAT serious. Serious enough that Microsoft is patching an Operating System it abandoned 5 years ago!
Why would Microsoft release a patch for an Operating System they officially don’t support anymore? Because the vulnerability can lead to infection of Windows 7 computers!
Convincing companies to patch their computers, or to pay for a service to do so, is one of the most difficult things to do. Few people, outside the IT industry, seem to make the connection between software patching and security risks like malware, ransomware and other vulnerabilities.
Also, most people have a false sense of security when it comes to keeping an old computer on the network. They rationalize that, since they don’t actively surf the Internet with a computer it isn’t an issue. Nothing is further from the truth.
As a matter of fact, un-patched computers currently represent one of the leading security risks to small businesses. It’s estimated that keeping computers fully patched (which not only includes Windows, but all the software you have installed on your systems), can stop as much as 80% of malicious attacks.
Your network, and your ability to protect your company and client data, is only as secure as the most vulnerable machine. In this case, that old XP computer that’s still connected to your network, for whatever reason, is exposing your entire company to significant risk.
Action you need to take now, to protect your network:
– Ensure that all computers are properly and regularly patched. This takes constant, weekly effort to maintain and do properly. Seek out an IT Professional for assistance if you have more than a couple of computers to maintain.
-Replace XP computers immediately or hire someone to properly segregate these computers from your network if need be.
-Prepare for the end of Windows 7 and Server 2008, both of which lose support on January 14, 2020. Don’t wait until the last minute to do this. After that date, they become targets since Microsoft will no longer patch those systems.
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