One of England’s biggest police forces has revealed that more than one in five of its computers runs on Windows XP.
It’s been a busy week in the security world. On Friday 12th May 2017 the world was hit by one of the biggest ransomware out breaks in recent times. It reached 74 countries and more than 45,000 systems. By Monday, this was more like 150 countries and 200,000 systems, according to Europol. When a kill-switch was found to disable the virus, it was a matter of hours until new variants were infecting systems at a rate of 3,600 per hour.
Hospitals are used to dealing with viruses, from the common cold to a variety of tropical diseases there are procedures in place to diagnose, isolate and treat patients. What is more challenging to them is dealing with digital infections, which can wreak havoc and cause the digital realm to endanger people’s lives.
What is it about Windows XP that has made getting rid of an obsolete operating system so difficult? On the face of it, it should be no contest; XP is inherently less secure than its successors, will no longer receive essential updates, cybercriminals target it more often, and it doesn’t even support the latest secure applications. These factors add up to higher support costs and risk.
The lead up to Windows XP's expiration is causing a frenzy among the many businesses that are still running on the retiring operating system.
After nearly 13 years, Tuesday 8 April is the day Windows XP reaches the end of the road as Microsoft pulls extended support. Anyone still running XP after that day will be on their own and left exposed to an inevitable wave of malware attacks lured by the pickings to be had from millions of PCs running an unpatched operating system.