Why it’s More Important than Ever to Upgrade Immediately
Windows XP was the operating system of choice for millions around the world. It was stable, reliable and it just worked. However, last April XP officially reached Microsoft’s end of life. This means that Microsoft is no longer supporting it or fixing and future security holes that may (will) come up. If you would like to read more about this announcement from Microsoft please click the link below.
So what does this mean for you? If you’re still running on XP will your OS stop working? Probably not. But there is a far greater risk, especially if you are using the XP computer to run your business.
Because XP is 12 years old and is no longer being updated, it has legacy software and standards that just don’t hold up to modern security practices. The biggest one has to do with SSL or Secure Socket Layer. This is the protocol that encrypts and decrypts data whenever you go to a secure website.
Windows XL by default uses SSL v3, which if you remember has the POODLE security vulnerability allowing for a “man in the middle attack.” It is possible for the program making the connection to use TLS, which is a more modern version of SSL and this does not have the same issues as SSLv3 however, even using TLS the ciphers used to encrypt and decrypt the data are so old that they aren’t considered a truly secure connection by modern standards.
Since fundamentally SSL is no longer secure on Windows XP, it’s not acceptable to use it to login to the backend of any ecommerce platform or payment gateway. Any place that stores personal customer information or payment data should never be accessed using Windows XP from this point on.
In a nutshell, if you are using Windows XP to access secure websites, your data is not safe.
So if you’ve been holding off on upgrading to a newer version of Windows, you’re putting your data at risk by staying on XP.
In addition to the issue described above with SSL and encryption, because Windows XP is no longer being updated it is inevitable that at some point there will be a security vulnerability that requires a patch from Microsoft and you’ll be left out in the cold. Microsoft will not be making any further updates for XP, further adding to the risk you are already taking.
If you are still running Windows XP, and your computer is used to connecting to secure websites, it is time to upgrade as soon as you possibly can to protect you and your customer's secure data.
For more information click here: Windows XP End of Support.