End of Life Software Is Not the End of Security: It’s the end of the road for Windows XP. The very popular and widely used Microsoft operating system will have officially reached its “end of life” for organizations in the United States. As of April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide any free or paid support assistance. Users will no longer receive patches, hotfixes, or security updates from Microsoft. Consequently, XP will become a prime target for hackers eager to exploit weaknesses in the system and penetrate vulnerable networks utilizing it.
When any IT or technical product reaches its end of life, in most cases, all support is halted. This leaves the software or hardware vulnerable to future exploitation or attack. Reported errors, compatibility issues and feature requests are no longer addressed with upgrades or patches. While an end of life operating system, software package or machine may still function, if it is on your network, it becomes a target for hackers seeking backdoor access and this creates a huge risk to the security, integrity and availability of your confidential business and patient information.