Microsoft Windows XP Support Ends April 8, 2014

What does that mean for Alvaka’s IT support clients in Southern California?

What should you do?

After 12 years and numerous extensions of support on Windows XP, the operating system is finally meeting its end-of-life.  Microsoft of course is saying it is important for users to upgrade, but is that really true?  Microsoft says, “Customers moving to a modern operating system will benefit from dramatically enhanced security, broad device choice for a mobile workforce, higher user productivity, and a lower total cost of ownership through improved management capabilities.”  In short I agree with most of that statement.

 

 

Microsoft continues on with, “After April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for Windows XP. Security updates patch vulnerabilities that may be exploited by malware and help keep users and their data safer. PCs running Windows XP after April 8, 2014, should not be considered to be protected, and it is important that you migrate to a current supported operating system – such as Windows 8.1 – so you can receive regular security updates to protect their computer from malicious attacks.” This does not mean that instantly on April 9th your PC is not secure, but I can assure you as the days and weeks pass there will be new vulnerabilities discovered that put you at risk. There will be no patches available to secure your computer and it is likely you will never even know what new risks exist on your Windows XP computer.

My recommendation is similar to Microsoft.  They say consider “moving to a modern PC with the latest productivity and collaboration tools. Small to mid-size organizations (<500 employees) should locate a Microsoft Certified Partner to understand the best options to meet their business needs. If your current PC meets the system requirements for Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you can buy Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8.1 Pro from a local retailer or Microsoft Certified Partner. If your PC does not meet system requirements, consider purchasing a new business PC with Windows 8.1 Pro.”

Other risks you may face are:

Malware:

Without critical Windows XP 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. Anti-virus software will also not be able to fully protect you once Windows XP itself is unsupported.

Compliance:

Businesses that are governed by regulatory obligations such as HIPAA may find that they are no longer able to satisfy compliance requirements. More information on HHS’s view on the security requirements for information systems that contain electronic protected health information (e-PHI) can be found here (HHS HIPAA FAQ - Security Rule).

Lack of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Support:

Many software vendors will no longer support their products running on Windows XP as they are unable to receive Windows XP updates. For example, the new Office takes advantage of the modern Windows and will not run on Windows XP.

Hardware Manufacturer support:

Most PC hardware manufacturers will stop supporting Windows XP on existing and new hardware. This will also mean that drivers required to run Windows XP on new hardware may not be available.

Alvaka Networks is available to for IT consulting and support services to our clients and prospective clients in Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County.  Our consultants can be dispatched from Irvine, Long Beach, Orange, Tustin, Chatsworth, Pasadena, Lake Forest, Murrieta and many other cities.  We can help you create a migration plan and budget that is based upon our standard methodology, but customized to fit your needs.  Whether you need Network Monitoring, Backup and disaster recovery systems, IT service and support, penetration tests and vulnerability assessments, Alvaka Networks is ready to serve you 24x7x365.

Need help or some advice, e-mail toli@alvaka.net or give me a call at 949 428-5000 extension 213.