Using Windows XP in 2019
Windows XP was first released in 2001 and reached end of life on 8th April 2014. This is when the last Windows security updates were added to Windows Update and Microsoft ceased creating any more patches or fixing any vulnerabilities.
This makes Windows XP systems an easy target for would be hackers and malware creators due to known vulnerabilities. Since April 2018 there have been 4 vulnerabilities published made public. There will be no security updates from Microsoft to fix these issues.
It is estimated that 170 Million computers are still running Windows XP.
The risks of using Windows XP in 2019
Without security updates your XP computer may be vulnerable to viruses, spyware and other maclication software which may damage or steal your business data or information
- Lack of independent Software support
Many software vendors have stopped support of their products that run on Windows XP. So new software might not function correctly on your Windows XP computer.
- Hardware Manufacturer Support
Most hardware manufacturers will stop supporting Windows XP on new hardware.
The only good reason for running Window XP in 2019 is for a specific purpose, such as operating machinery or system without a clear upgrade path. If the only option is to keep Windows XP in operation, then the system must be as secure as possible.
There is no good reason to be using Windows XP for day to day activities such as web browsing and email in 2019.
5 things to consider when you need to run a Windows XP computer in 2019
- Patch ensure that Service Pack 3 is installed all Windows Updates that were made available have been installed. Do the same for any applications that are installed.
- Antivirus With Windows XP being end of life some antivirus software no longer supports XP.
- Keep it clean don’t browse the internet on the computer, or keep it disconnected from the internet if possible. Its best to use a web browser such as Google Chrome and avoid Internet Explorer.
- Virtualize investigate if it’s possible to Virtualize your Windows XP computer. This will come in handy next hardware upgrade
- Backup always have a good backup plan in place and make sure its followed. Also check that the backups work and test it on a regular basis.
Your Backup and Disaster Recovery plan should have notes for the Windows XP computer, for the following scenarios:
- Malware is found on the computer
- A hardware component fails
- The computer is stolen or damaged completely
Even though there is still some support for Windows XP, its dwindling and it’s only a matter of time before this system will need to be replaced.