Today, April 8th 2014, Microsoft is officially ending support for their Windows XP operating system. This means Microsoft will no longer be providing technical support and security updates for the worlds longest supported OS.
What does this mean if you are still running Windows XP?
By continuing to use Windows XP, you are more vulnerable to potential security risks and viruses. If you are in the Healthcare industry, your are technically out of compliance with HIPPA regulations. In short, it’s time to upgrade.
If you are going to upgrade, we would suggest a completely new computer. Chances are, if your computer is still running Windows XP, it’s old enough that it’s not worth investing any money in just upgrading the OS.
What if your Line of Business software requires Windows XP?
This is a tough one. Once again, it’s probably time to update your software, or if the vendor hasn’t updated since Windows XP, it’s probably time to look for a new LOB software.
Are there any other options?
We never like to be cheap about these things, because it will always cost you more money down the road. However, you can takes some other steps to minimize your risks if you can’t upgrade right away.
- If you have a Remote Desktop Server, you can convert your old XP computers to thin-clients. (Good option for small Healthcare firms)
- You can add additional protection by limiting certain types of network traffic from your firewall, UTM device, and the computer itself.
- You can isolate the Windows XP computer from the internet completely.
Of course there are dozens of scenarios we could go over. The main point being, by continuing to run Windows XP in your network environment, you are potentially putting your network at risk.
Let us know what your plans are for eliminating Windows XP from your network, in the comments section below.