One third of businesses risk security by still using Windows XP

Unpatched operating systems can cause significant security headaches in the future, but even with the threat of malware or ransomware, it’s been found that approximately one third of all businesses are still using Windows XP.

According to SpiceWorks’ Future of Network and Endpoint Security’s report, 32% of organizations still have at least one Windows XP device connected to their network. Extended support for XP ended in 2014 and Windows POSReady, the last variant of XP, reached end of life in April of 2019.

It was found that nearly 79% of organizations still have at least one Windows 7 system on their network as well. Support for Windows 7 will be ending on January 14, 2020.

These devices that are left with unprotected Windows 7 and XP operating systems are potentially susceptible to zero-day attacks like WannaCry.

Zero-day attacks were the second-most frequently cited concern among IT decision makers, according to SpiceWorks, and 18% of respondents cited that attacks of that magnitude are their primary concern. With good reason; with zero-day attacks, the exploits don’t yet have a patch available to block them. Now imagine you’re an IT professional and your company becomes the victim of a cyberattack not because there isn’t a patch available yet, but because your company is using an older and unsupported operating system.

Considering the risks that accompany unsupported software in general, there is a relative lack of urgency when it comes to migrating critical systems to a fully supported operating system.

Without a major shift in mindset, or a sudden concern for becoming the victim of a data breach or ransomware attack, unpatched, internet-connected systems are a fertile playground for botnet creation.

As always, if we can be of help with your network or computer, give us a call here at RHYNO Networks. (855) 749-6648