End-of-life software: the ticking timebomb at the heart of organisations

Untitled design 38 | End-of-life software: the ticking timebomb at the heart of organisations
By Toby Lester | 11th December 2019 | 8 min read

Over half of the world’s installed software is already out of date and open to malicious attack. This poses a huge international security risk.

Unfortunately, this also includes any computers that are running Windows 7, as it’s now unsupported. This doesn’t mean that Windows 7 won’t work, but you still shouldn’t rely on it, as it’s now a ticking time bomb.

Ticking timebomb

Mainstream support for Windows 7 was officially ended back in January 2015, but Microsoft had still pledged to continue patching and updating Windows 7 up until the 14th of January 2020.

Now that date has passed, you could be opening yourself up to an easy attack, as you’ll have unpatched vulnerabilities that can be easy to exploit. If you haven’t already, you need to move away from Windows 7 as soon as possible.

However, that’s not the only threat.

Some threats are hidden

Many computers have more outdated frameworks and distributables installed on them than actual usable software. These are designed to add support for software features, so it’s easy to forget they’re there. By keeping these on your machines, you are risking a serious data breach – and huge damage to your organisation’s reputation.

These have to be managed manually, and it’s important that organisations keep an eye on it. Old frameworks that used to be a staple for organisations, such as Visual Studio or the .NET Framework 2.0, now need to be manually uninstalled to ensure safety, as they could offer hijackers a way to access your systems.

End-of-life software

This is because of something called end of life, or EoL. Once software reaches its EoL, publishers are no longer bound by law to secure their software against any vulnerabilities that are found – and these vulnerabilities will be found by malicious attackers if enough targets continue to use this software.

Organisations ignore software end-of-life dates at their peril.

Endless defusal

Once you’ve swapped software providers or updated to the vendor’s new solution, everything will be safe for a while. However, this isn’t a permanent solution. So long as you continue to rely on the outdated industry standard of publishing separate software versions, you can be sure that software will reach an EoL and become a threat.

It’s difficult, nigh impossible, to watch all of your organisation’s software packages for EoL threats. It’s like a never-ending chain of threats to defuse.

The solution

As with many modern problems, cloud computing could offer a modern solution. It’s a different way of approaching business-critical software that eliminates the need to watch the clock on your software timebombs, as all the hard work is done for you.

Let’s take the example of PS Cloud, our cloud-based financial management suite.  It ensures your mission-critical software is kept up to date and free of deprecated frameworks, as it’s always kept up to date. There’s no nasty looming end of life dates – everything just works.

It also offers additional benefits, such as the ability to access your data from any location and access powerful cross-location reporting. If you’re interested in throwing out your end-of-life timebombs and upgrading your organisation, contact us about a free demonstration of PS Cloud today.