ICO issues data protection warning to users of Windows XP

ICO issues data protection warning to users of Windows XP: The Information Commissioner’s Office ICO has warned businesses about the risks created by the end of Microsoft’s support for Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003 on 8 April.

Microsoft has extended security updates for the legacy operating system by 15 months, but many businesses, charities and other organisations will be on their own after that.This means if a security flaw is discovered, Microsoft will not release an update to fix it, which is important for businesses using these two products to note, says the ICO.

A lack of security updates will put company systems and the personal data stored on them at risk, the ICO said, estimating that 30% of all PCs are still using Windows XP.Research by UK software firm AppSense indicates that around 77% of UK organisations are running XP somewhere in their IT estate.

While Gartner estimates that up to 25% of enterprise systems are still running XP, and that a third of large organisations will have more than 10% of their systems still on XP.

The ICO said this could become a serious problem and means many organisations should already be in the processes of migrating to a supported operating system, or taking steps to mitigate the risks.