Are you or your staff Windows XP Users?

Many people will be familiar of the many warnings that have been issued since Microsoft announced that it would cease supporting the outdated operating system with effect from April 2014. Despite the warnings, however, many users have stuck with their trusted machines, in fact according to market intelligence, 20% of all PC’s in existence still use Windows XP.

Now, however, the end is near, as security experts warn that a soon to be available critical Java  update will not run on Windows XP. As such, Oracle’s move to end support on XP could cause serious problems.

Some Windows XP users have decided to continue running the outdated platform for various reasons, whether due to the cost of refreshing newer hardware to run more modern versions of Windows or because of compatibility issues with key applications. Some have also been emboldened by developers such as Mozilla which has elected to continue to support XP with its Firefox browser.

However, the Java support issue could prove pivotal because Java is a key component of many applications and websites, and has also proven to be a popular target for malware creators. If Windows XP users cannot update Java, they are increasingly putting themselves at risk, according to Amar Singh, chair of the ISACA Security Advisory Group.

“This is certainly a reason for those using XP to move on to more supported systems. Java is deeply insecure and remains one of the most relevant attack vectors for compromising user and device security,” he said.

The alternative for the real die-hard XP users is to uninstall Java and avoid all applications and sites that rely on the platform.

“I wonder if that is even possible for most users,” he added.

Mark Nunnikhoven, vice president for Cloud & Emerging Technologies at security firm Trend Micro, warned that the situation is only likely to get worse, and that Windows XP users should take heed, as more and more vendors will be dropping support for XP as time goes by.
“For the end user, Oracle and others dropping support is frustrating and it means a lot of work to upgrade to a new operating system. From a security perspective, this just might be the motivation needed to move past an archaic platform and towards a more secure environment,” he said.
Kjaersgaard from Heimdal agreed: “Personally, I enjoyed using Microsoft Windows XP when it came out, but the days of Windows XP are over.
“The operating system is inadequate to cope with today’s security issues and I wouldn’t call it safe to connect and use a Windows XP based machine on the Internet. With 3rd party software vendors ending their support as well, users who have not yet changed platform, really have to do so now.”,
Whether this message will get through to the many Windows XP users who are still reluctant to upgrade remains to be seen.

To discuss options for upgrading your Windows XP computer, please contact David or Steve at the office. HERE

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