Still Running Windows XP? Upgrade Now to Reduce Security Risks

Back in April, Microsoft’s Windows team began reminding customers that the company would discontinue support for the Windows XP operating system in a year’s time. As of April 8, 2014, customers and partners will no longer receive security updates for Windows XP, or get Microsoft tech support for Windows XP.

Without security updates, a PC running Windows XP will become more vulnerable to viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.  And yet, many businesses still have not upgraded their systems running Windows XP, which has been in service since 2001.

If your business is currently running Windows XP, now is the time to consider upgrading to a modern operating system. The Windows team has provided more information about the end of support and the significant security updates offered with newer versions of the operating system.

Windows XP introduced several important security features that you may be familiar with, including a firewall, Windows Update and Windows Security Center. But the range and sophistication of security threats have grown significantly since that time, as have the ways in which businesses use technology today.

For example, the number of internet users was just 50 million in 2001, but has grown to 2.7 billion today. Smartphones were just beginning to emerge in 2001. In 2013, more than 1 billion smartphones will be sold worldwide.

With the surge in online traffic came increasing sophistication among hackers and the tools they use. Back in 2001, many attacks were simple acts of vandalism or disruption. Today, organized attacks use botnets and malware to steal valuable data or commit other financially motivated crimes.

One of the best defenses against these evolving threats is a modern operating system. Today, Windows XP is 21 times more likely to be infected than Windows 8, our newest version. You can see the data on a new infographic: “The Evolution of Security Threats”. And for more information on the benefits of a modern operating system, check out: www.get2modern.com.

About the Author
Adrienne Hall

General Manager, Trustworthy Computing

Adrienne Hall is a General Manager in the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing group, where she leads a team of information technology (IT) professionals who are focused on the security, privacy, reliability, and accessibility of devices and services built on Microsoft technology. Read more »