Support for Microsoft’s popular operating system, Windows XP will end on April 8, 2014, 12 years after it was introduced to PC users. By that, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for the Windows XP operating system to the user community. SecurityOrb.com, an information security, privacy and internet safety awareness organization recommend users that are currently using Windows XP, migrate to a modern operating system such as Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 if possible. If users do not migrate to a modern operating system, they will eventually increase their risk exposure exponentially as time increases.
Another areas of concern also lie with the banking industry. At it highest point 92% of automated teller machines (ATMs) worldwide operated on Windows XP. Recent speculation, In spite of numerous upgrading projects, estimate there are still perhaps 80% of ATM still operating on the Windows XP platform, both abroad and in the US (Seltzer, Feb 2014).
Even though the current ATM situation does pose some security risk, the positive aspect of this scenario is ATMs as well as other devices such as Point of Sales (PoS) run Windows in what Microsoft describes "with embedded restrictions” until 2016. Embedded restrictions makes the device that it is operating on look and act less like a regular computer and minimize its attack surface as well.
SecurityOrb.com has identified locations and personnel that maybe slow to migrate from Windows XP to a modern operating system. They are as follows:
- Senior citizens
- Small businesses and solos
- Smaller Non-profits
- Individuals that may have been donated a computer
In addition to Windows XP coming to an end on April 8, 2014, support for Windows Server 2003, Exchange Server 2003, Small Business Server 2003 and Office 2003 are also on the chopping block.
Again, it is recommended that you upgrade and if you are not able to upgrade, understand the risk and operate accordingly until you can.