The Risks of Using an Unsupported Operating System

No doubt we are living in a fast-paced, high-tech world. What we can accomplish on a computer is getting faster and more efficient, and updates to computer operating systems are coming out quicker than ever. Every month, developers like Microsoft and Apple release updates and patches to their operating systems. This is because they have identified a vulnerability in the code that needs to be fixed before a hacker can exploit the issue.

When an operating system has run its course and can no longer meet the demands of new hardware/software, the developer will introduce a new version and set a date that the old version will no longer be supported. This is known as “End of Life.”  When the old version becomes End of Life, this means the developer will no longer issue security updates and patches. Outdated operating systems can present major cybersecurity risks because now the hackers can easily exploit flaws in the code to gain access.

In addition to cybersecurity, there are reasons to patch and upgrade your operating system. As time goes by, an old operating system’s performance will get slower. Employees may look for new features that won’t be available to them because of an outdated system. Additionally, in industries such as finance and healthcare, the operating systems must be current in order to be in compliance with regulatory standards.

Many small companies likely postpone upgrading their systems due to the interruption it may cause, potential software compatibility issues, or a lack of understanding to the severity of an outdated system. That is why ICC takes a systematic approach to the upgrade process and develops a strategy to deal with any problems that may occur.  It is critical to proactively manage security tactics to protect your systems from malicious attacks.

It is important to remember that proactive Patch Management is only one small piece of the cybersecurity pie.  ICC puts a number of cybersecurity tactics in place to minimize your exposure and significantly reduce the possibility of an attack. At a minimum, a cybersecurity strategy should include patches and updates, email security, network security, monitored backups, employee education, and Quarterly Cybersecurity Reviews. If you are missing one piece of the pie, you may be exposed to cyber-attacks and could be faced with significant business disruption.

If you’re unsure about which operating system you are using or how to transition to a supported platform, give ICC a call at (970) 821-8592. We can come up with a plan that is a cost-efficient solution for your business.

Learn more about ICC at iccusa.net.

June 24, 2021

Security

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