Windows XP Running Your ATM Or Ticket Machine? Time To Buy Online!

Windows XP Running Your ATM Or Ticket Machine? Time To Buy Online!

Windows XP goes end-of-life in April 2014, after which Microsoft will no longer release bug fixes. If you’ve upgraded your PC then everything should be fine – but what about your bank? Have they upgraded?

The Risk Isn’t Necessarily With You

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Have you upgraded from Windows XP yet? If not, you can choose from several different options, but don’t feel that the onus is completely on you to stay secure. While it is important to ensure your home computer system is as up to date as possible – thereby ensuring that your copy of Windows is equipped with all of the latest security updates – it is also important that the companies you do business with are also suitably secure. Upgrade From Windows XP to a Modern OS in 7 Simple StepsIt’s time to say goodbye! Microsoft is ending official support for Windows XP on April 8 2014. Are you at risk? If you are still running this ancient operating system, it’s time to upgrade. If there is one thing that Microsoft has an aptitude for, it’s pomp. Windows 95 launched to a soundtrack scored by none other than The Rolling Stones and Weezer. For Vista, Redmond made sure that those who turned up to the launch party were given enough worthless tat to fill a landfill. However, nothing quite topped the vainglorious fanfare of the launch of XP, which saw New York turned into a literal, honest-to-god fairground, which was scored with a performance by Geordie crooner, Sting.

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Ultimately, it’s entirely possible for you to continue using Windows XP for your general purpose computing needs, however you will almost certainly find yourself left behind when it comes to the software available to you. You’ll also have to contend with a number of more persistent security threats, as a result of no longer receiving security patches.
 

Security Concerns

Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP happen to have a lot in common. They all share a lineage that stretches back to the 90s, with Windows NT. For better or for worse, each version of Windows has built upon earlier ones.

Another unifying attribute of each version of Windows is that they are all astonishingly big, comprising of billions of lines of code reflecting millions of hours of man work. As a result, it’s absolutely impossible to ensure that each copy of Microsoft Windows is 100% secure. New vulnerabilities are being discovered daily.

It’s quite certain that after April, security researchers will find vulnerabilities in newer versions of Windows that will also be applicable to Windows XP. Whilst Microsoft will almost certainly provide security updates for supported versions of Windows, users of Windows XP will be completely unprotected.

Sadly, this hasn’t been happening. For various reasons (usually cost) a vast number of businesses have been spending time burying their heads in the sand rather than coming to terms with the fact that their systems are going to become a lot less secure once Microsoft withdraws support for Windows XP in April 2014.

Although corporate security support has been increased to July 2015, this still doesn’t give businesses who haven’t yet made the necessary upgrades an awful lot of time to purchase and roll out new hardware running Windows 7, Windows 8 or even a Linux or Mac OS X desktop instead. While you might have taken steps to upgrade, the Windows XPocalypse has wider ramifications. What The Windows XPocalypse Means For YouMicrosoft is going to kill support for Windows XP in April 2014. This has serious consequences for both businesses and consumers. Here is what you should know if you are still running Windows XP.Read More

Among these are the customer-facing systems running on Windows XP. Things like rail ticket machines, ATMs and self-service petrol stations all use XP, and its continued presence represents an open door to digital criminals.

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The Cost Of Doing Business

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Businesses have had a hard time moving from Windows XP in recent years. The reasons for this are huge, including bespoke applications that only play nice with Redmond’s geriatric operating system and the immediate cost of upgrading thousands of users to a newer version of Windows, which may or may not include replacing hardware.

Windows XP is still almost ubiquitous in organizations which have to adhere to strict privacy and security standards, including the banking, finance, security and healthcare industry. Britain’s primary healthcare provider, the NHS, has XP running on almost 85% of all boxes. In addition, Windows XP is seen as the go-to operating system for ATMs, with almost 75% of all ATM machines in the US running Microsoft’s relic of an operating system.

Small deployments in the financial services industry will have no choice but to upgrade. Large companies who are determined to cling onto XP no matter the cost, however, have the ability to enroll in Microsoft’s ‘Custom Support’ packages, which will provide access to software and security updates. This of course isn’t cheap. Support is charged per computer basis, with the cost increasing each year for the first three years, before being discontinued entirely. It’s important to stress that this option is only available to large companies, who have huge amounts of computers running Windows XP. Think of the likes of IBM, and you’re close.

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ATMs: Stay Away!

There is a strong possibility that you don’t use ATMs as often as you might have done 5-10 years ago. The proliferation of “cashback” services at checkouts in stores and supermarkets means that queues have gone down and the potential for fake machines has dropped.

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