Windows XP and Security

Posted by & filed under Company News, Insurance News.

On April 8, 2014 Windows will finally end all support for arguably their most successful and longest running operating system (OS), Windows XP, which is 4 years after Mainstream support ended for the OS.  Since April 2010 any support offered by Microsoft has been considered the “Extended Support” phase, where free phone support and warranty are no longer available. The 3 Support Packs that Microsoft issued over its lifetime were used to patch security holes and to help keep it afloat as the internet became more advanced, however, in 2013 it is essentially obsolete in terms of being able to compete with an advanced internet.  XP users now account for 33.66% of the market share for OS users, which means in 6 months, nearly 1/3 of the world’s computer users will be left to fend for themselves in terms of security.

“Well, I feel like I am savvy enough to keep my machine safe even after support ends.”

In addition to being a security risk, there is also the risk of being non-compliant with insurance and government regulations. Very few people would leave their safe filled with valuables unlocked, and not upgrading to a supported OS is essentially the same with customer information. Regardless of how secure the network may be, or how secure the software is used, using an outdated OS is placing customer information at risk.

Insurance is the business of issuing coverage for a potential risk, so let’s look at it that way:  when roofs reach a maximum age, an insurer will typically reject coverage on the roof due to the risk of existing damage being greater than the cost of coverage.  Operating your company on an unsupported, outdated OS is much like insuring an old roof:  it is not good risk management.

Please take time to review what operating system you and your agents are using.  It is highly advisable that you upgrade to Windows 7 or 8 before April 2014 if you currently use Windows XP.

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