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On April 8th, 2014, Microsoft will end support for Windows XP, leaving businesses with less than 40 days to upgrade to a secure operating system. Once Microsoft ends support for the outdated operating system, security patches and fixes will no longer be released.
While systems running Windows XP will be extremely vulnerable to security threats, many businesses will continue to run the unsupported and unpatched operating system. In fact, Windows XP market share was at 29.5% in February.
So what can businesses do to secure their systems running Windows XP? If you’re absolutely against migrating to a secure operating system, here’s 5 tips to help you stay protected while running Windows XP:
All systems running Windows XP should be isolated on a separate network to protect other machines from being attacked when XP systems are compromised.
Windows XP includes Internet Explorer, however, the operating system only supports up to IE 9. Install an alternative browser, such as Firefox or Chrome, and make sure it’s the default browser to improve security.
Since Microsoft will no longer update Windows XP components, its firewall won’t be patched and updated. Install up-to-date firewalls and anti-virus software to protect the system against malware and hackers.
Prior to the end of support date, make sure you’ve installed the last Windows XP update so machines are protected from the latest vulnerabilities.
If something goes wrong, you must have recoverable data backups to prevent data loss. While running Windows XP after the end of support date, make sure you’re backing up your data.
While these tips can help you mitigate the risk of security threats, Windows XP will still be extremely vulnerable. If you continue to run an unsupported and unpatched operating system, you should expect some challenges along the way. When Microsoft ends support for a product, it’s time to give it up or except the security risks. If possible, migrate away from Windows XP or be extremely cautious while using the unsupported and unpatched operating system.
To learn more about Windows XP after the end of support date, give us a call at (309) 263-5600 or send us an email at sales@clearpathIT.com. ClearPath IT Solutions can help you secure systems running Windows XP or devise a plan to migrate away from Windows XP.