It’s Just A Couple Updates Behind, Right?

Imagine working late into the day on a single project in software your company has had since you started 3 years ago – you’ve been working furiously to meet a deadline, but when you go to press save, it fails. You reach out to customer service, but find out you’ve been working with software three years out of date! Your company never bothered to update after buying the software, leaving your company exposed to viruses and bugs. To our techs at KPI, we’re frankly surprised the software worked for as long as it did without patches or updates!

Your software is only as good as its most recent patch. Reaching end of life (EoL) or end of sales (EoS) means critical patches are no longer available, leaving your system vulnerable to a variety of problems. The common misconception that outdated software doesn’t pose security risk or compliance issues is a mistake easily taken accident when not continually reviewing your software and hardware for new changes.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the primary implications of running outdated software and why it’s crucial to take action when your software reaches EoL or EoS.

What Happens to Your Outdated Devices:

The implications of running outdated software can be divided into three categories:

Security implications

Using outdated software can have severe security implications, such as:

  • You don’t get security updates from the vendor the device or application was bought from. Without vendor security patches, known exploits are left unaddressed.
  • If threat actors are able to reverse-engineer the old versions of the software, they may be able to develop exploits that compromise your system without much effort.
  • Running old software can create compatibility issues in the future, which could create possible data corruption or even loss.
  • Your organization’s security software may be out of date, violating upcoming security policies and hindering future operational stability and excellence.

Privacy Implications

Using outdated software can be a costly affair. If software is no longer supported by its vendor and contains sensitive data, you could be at risk of receiving a data privacy fine.

For instance, in the United States, the Federal Trade Commission is allegedly taking action against Chegg Inc. for failing to patch vulnerabilities that exposed sensitive information about millions of its customers and employees such as Social Security numbers email addresses and passwords.

According to the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed order, the company must take immediate actions to protect users’ data from the public and provide these users with additional features, such as multi-factor authorization, during their account’s setup.

Productivity implications

Outdated software can be a significant impediment for a business, from both productivity and employee satisfaction standpoints. For example, if the software runs slowly, crashes frequently or is difficult to use, it is a guarantee your employees will get frustrated. Plus, all that wasted time trying to solve issues that a patch or update would do for you! Keeping software updated can help decrease errors and improve customer relations – leading to a better bottom line, too!

Know When Your Software Expires (Yes, We Also Mean Hardware Warranties)

We all know the term “use by date” and that it is used when talking about food and medicines. However, there is one unexpected thing we could add as one of those items that tend to get old and expire: hardware and software can expire with age too!

This is because technology, like many other fields, is constantly evolving. What was once high-tech quickly becomes a thing of the past.

Though technology may change year after year, outdated technology just doesn’t have the same security and protection of advanced platforms. Obsolete technology is often less secure because it’s no longer supported by its original manufacturer, and doesn’t receive modern security features and patches. So, this can leave your device and your data less impervious to attacks. Plus, outdated technology may not be enough to comply with current privacy regulations. Therefore your data could be at risk.

This means that it is crucial to run the most up-to-date operating systems and software as this will eliminate compatibility issues and maximize your company’s productivity. You can’t let it get too out of hand. You need a plan for a way to keep track of when different technologies hit their expiration dates too!

Check Your Version of Office (and Microsoft)

In April 2023, Office 2013 will no longer be supported by Microsoft. As a result, you will not receive technical assistance, bug fixes or security updates from Microsoft. It also means that you run the risk of security vulnerabilities, which could put your data and business in jeopardy.

Even if all your Office 2013 apps continue to function, you won’t always experience that level of protection. You’ll need the new Office 2019 apps to protect against malicious software, phishing, ransomware and data breaches.

To ensure maximum security and data privacy for your business, the best decision is to migrate your apps and data to Microsoft 365. As a cloud-based solution, it delivers the freedom and collaboration of OneDrive along with the full Microsoft Office suite. Microsoft makes use of a subscription-based model to automatically patch vulnerabilities that hackers might exploit. More significantly, your workflow is not disrupted by these updates since they take place in the background and your systems remain protected even from professional threats.

Five Minutes Now Saves Hours Later

The major upsurge in data breaches have targeted businesses of all sizes and industries, which means no company is truly safe from a cyber threat (without the proper protections). As a result, there is a greater consideration of the importance of cybersecurity internationally.

Companies make countless IT investments in any given year, and not one of them may be enough to keep the company secure in the long run. Many organizations today still make the mistake of assuming their cybersecurity measures are sufficient. Nothing could be further from the truth than this misconception.

Investing in supported technologies is the best way to protect your business. There are secure and reliable tech products that are routinely tested for vulnerabilities, so you can be sure your team is utilizing the most up-to date safety guidelines. Investing in supported systems comes with some important advantages. Planned support constantly monitors and adds protection and support for your company from their inception. You will always have an advantage in security when investing in supported technologies.

In the event of a data breach or cyberattack, supported technologies will have experts from a company who will assist you in recovering from the event. Always remember that prevention is better than cure.

Want Assistance?

If you’ve reached the end, then you evidently have a keen interest in taking your security practices to the next level. You may wish to partner with a professional but don’t know how. But, do not despair quite yet.

We can use our experience to show you how to lock down your business and your public your with the latest, contemporary tech solutions so you can have a firm grasp on the future no matter what our impending future looks like. If you are interested in hearing more, please ask us for a phone consultation at no charge: 484-680-7766