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Security risks on Windows XP

Posted on 2013-06-15
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Last Modified: 2013-07-16
Microsoft stops all support for WinXP next year. We have a lot (>100) computers still on XP.  Upgrading to Win7 or replacing will be difficult and costly.  What are the risks of keeping some of them on XP?  If they are behind a firewall and have minimal or no access to internet, are they adequately protected?
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Question by:maharlika
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8 Comments
 
LVL 30

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by:Randy Downs
Randy Downs earned 668 total points
ID: 39250174
It's definitely a problem
http://www.zdnet.com/gartner-prepare-now-for-windows-xp-death-security-at-risk-7000014164/

That support entails security fixes, patches for vulnerabilities, and updates to software that will all disappear this time next year. When a new exploit comes along, it won't be fixed, leaving your entire network and systems vulnerable to cyberattacks, denial-of-service attacks, data theft, hacking and network intrusion.
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LVL 24

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by:aadih
ID: 39250202
In the long-term, the cost of upgrading may be more cost effective than the cost of "fixing" vulnerabilities arising with not upgrading.
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by:Tony Barkdull
Tony Barkdull earned 664 total points
ID: 39250231
Microsoft has been patching XP's security holes all along. Not to say they are all done, they have just set an "end of life" date.It doesn't mean XP will quit working. Immediately abandoning XP is not the answer. Since yours are behind a firewall (and I assume protected with Antivirus?), you are ok to proceed replacing computers as needed. Eventually you should set an end date to replace all the machines. At our businesses, we replace machines as there warranty is up, far earlier that the OS "end of life".But we still rely on XP because some apps will not function in Win7 (yet). You should be planning, testing and replacing machines on a contuinal basis. Keep track of warranties to help assist in knowing when you need to purchase in the future.
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LVL 54

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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 39250444
I have 2 xp computers I don't use much as I switched to apple when vista came out. I think I am going to put Ubutu on them.
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LVL 98

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John Hurst earned 668 total points
ID: 39250621
So long as you have good, paid, commercial Anti Virus on the XP machines, they should be fine. Symantec Corporate still supports XP.

That said, you need to begin migration to something newer quite soon. Putting of upgrading does not reduce the cost. And eventually the cost of doing nothing could be higher than the cost of upgrading.

Get some Windows 7 Pro 64-bit machines now to get started and get yourself a Windows 8 Pro 64-bit machine now to see how you can adapt to it.

... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 27

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by:tliotta
ID: 39264324
AV support from AV vendors will likely continue for a while after Microsoft ends its support. However, it won't be too long before AV vendors will necessarily also stop supporting Win XP.

The WinXP systems should have been going through phased upgrades during the past couple years. A few at a time would be upgraded. One each week would finish the job in two years. By waiting until the last moments, a potential likely thing to happen is that the eventual forced upgrade will be more expensive, more difficult and more error prone due to increased pressure.

I'd suggest starting immediately with a few systems and continuing a regular schedule.

A potential viable alternative is to start migrating to Linux.

Tom
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 39329950
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 125 points for Number-1's comment #a39250174
Assisted answer: 125 points for tbarkdull's comment #a39250231
Assisted answer: 125 points for thinkpads_user's comment #a39250621
Assisted answer: 125 points for tliotta's comment #a39264324

for the following reason:

This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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