Three years ago Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP but this doesn’t mean people stopped using the OS. Sadly, it is embedded in many systems from military to healthcare among many others. One of the challenges for companies running these older systems is exploits which can attack newer operating systems also affect XP – but since Microsoft doesn’t patch the OS anymore, these systems become sitting ducks for attackers who learn about the exploits via public system patches.
This past week, a slew of ransomware attacks took place across the globe thanks to leaked information from US intelligence on how to take advantage of security holes in various Microsoft operating systems.
Microsoft responded by patching Windows XP – an unprecedented step which acknowledges that the hackers are winning the war against our technology.
Recently we mentioned that Microsoft said we need a Digital Geneva Convention – basically showing that even with all its resources, Redmond realizes the hackers are winning and something must be done.
This surprise patch from Microsoft shows how true this concern is. The likelihood of getting infected at work or home, continues to increase.
The best defense is to ensure your operating systems are updated, you run antivirus, have frequent backups which are spread within your organization, the cloud and finaly… Train, train, train your workers to ensure you minimize the risk of them doing something they shouldn’t. Often, employees are the weakest link in your cybersecurity defense.