Outdated equipment could be putting you at risk

Most companies know they’re taking a big risk when they use equipment beyond its end of support. But for many it’s an unfortunate reality that they won’t have the money to replace it anytime soon.

According to Cisco’s Annual Security Report, 92% of the 115,000 devices they scanned for a one-day survey had software with known vulnerabilities. While IT is turning its attention to the threat of zero-day attacks, it would seem it’s allowing some preventable vulnerabilities to run unchecked in its environment.

In addition, nearly one-in-ten (8%) of devices had reached end-of-life and another 31% would be at end-of-life within four years.

If aging infrastructure is running without support beyond that point, it’s a serious risk. Even if companies know of vulnerabilities or flaws after the product is no longer being supported, they won’t offer patches.

That means that companies will be left with hardware that could be compromised or used in an attack – usually just because companies need to save a few bucks.

Lessons from XP

End-of-support cycles are probably not something that your organization spends too much time thinking about, but it should be.

One way to stress the importance of keeping up-t0-date? Harken back to Windows XP. This was the rare instance when almost everyone was made aware that a product would no longer be provided with security updates.

Share with execs that this wasn’t a one-time phenomenon: Most products will someday no longer continue to be supported by the manufacturer or seller.

Then present them with a calendar of upcoming end-of-life dates for hardware. This hammers home the point that investments may need to be made in securing devices. Otherwise, they could be putting systems at risk in order to save a little money in the short-term.

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