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You may be aware that Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft, but what does this really mean?

In order for your hardware to stay protected from security threats, action will need to be taken. The operating system received its last security patch on April 8th 2014, meaning businesses running most versions of Windows XP will be vulnerable to exploits and attacks. Whilst migrating from Windows XP to a newer OS is important, that might not be possible for all businesses.

CSG has put together a list of recommendations to ensure you and your business are fully covered . Here are tips on making the transition, from quick to gradual fixes.

Best case – power it down

If your XP system is redundant within your IT infrastructure and not performing properly, the best move is to close down Windows XP. You’ll still be able to carry on as normal with newer systems running Windows 7 or above.

Next best: rip and replace

If your XP systems play a vital role in your business, it’s best to either upgrade your computer(s) to Windows 7 or Windows 8, or replace altogether. Besides peace of mind, you’ll also benefit from increased productivity due to less errors, faster boot times and increased load times.

Ongoing: time to prioritise

Does your business depend on your IT infrastructure for running daily tasks? If so, you will know that prioritising your IT Infrastructure is vital. Analysing your business IT requirements should be an ongoing process and if you have systems running off Windows XP, now is the time to prioritise your IT network.

Put together a roadmap of your IT systems. Start with the systems that are most important to your business. This will then give you an idea of the hardware and software that require replacements.

When building the map, ask the following questions:

  • What could you lose if each system suffered a security threat?
  • Which systems have administrator rights?
  • Which systems have access to critical customer or business data?

If you start with the above, it will help you map out the prioritisation of your network infrastructure.

Isolation strategy: get off the grid

If you are can’t remove all XP systems from your business, it’s best to isolate them from the internet. This will eliminate any threat which could potentially cause damage to your business. Should your XP system need to access the internet, for example, to access a server, only allow very narrow access via specific ports.

Above all, try something

The worst possible action you can take is none at all. Run XP as you always have, and your security risk will quickly increase. Data breaches are not something to be taken lightly . They ultimately cause a threat to your business’ resources and can also cost you money and your reputation. If you’re in a regulated industry such as finance or healthcare, security breaches could cost you clients, licenses and more.

Every business has its own unique infrastructure, and you will need to determine the migration path that works best with your needs and your budget. From workplace software management to financial help, CSG can also help you make the transition. Above all, do something and make sure that your business continues to thrive.

Contact us on sales@csgrp.co.uk to find out more.

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