Many businesses rely on the same software packages for years – including older versions of MS Office, accounting software, and operating systems, as well as independent applications – long after the vendors have stopped issuing updates and actively supporting them. This is no issue from a functional perspective so long as the software continues to support your business processes – investing in new software is, after all, an expensive undertaking.
However, in some cases, continuing to use ‘obsolete’ software can increase the risk of your business falling prey to a cyberattack. Such is the danger posed by unsupported business software that the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued targeted warnings to businesses about some applications. Why does obsolete software pose such a risk?
The Dangers Of Obsolete Business Software
Cybercriminals are becoming increasingly proficient at finding backdoor entry points to business’ networks. With firewalls effective in preventing unauthorised access, criminals need to rely on less obvious vulnerabilities – to use an analogy, an unlocked bathroom window instead of a wide-open front door. Phishing emails, for example, tempt users to follow unsafe links, while obsolete software is vulnerable for two reasons:
- An unsupported product no longer receives security updates from the developer. Vulnerabilities become apparent to cybercriminals who can then exploit them in the knowledge that patches will not be issued to prevent unsolicited access.
- Current, up-to-date software has robust security measures integrated, whereas obsolete versions are based on old technology that is almost certainly not as secure. Exploiting vulnerabilities is, therefore, more likely to be successful, with fewer in-built mechanisms to detect criminal activity until the damage is done.
When the potential cybersecurity weaknesses of remote working is added to the mix, obsolete software becomes a major liability to businesses. Even crude or amateurish cyberattacks are more likely to succeed.
Bespoke Software Security Solutions
The solution isn’t always a straightforward as swapping out an obsolete application for a newer version. Some older or unsupported applications may have a specialist role within your business that isn’t easy to replace, and the same can apply for bespoke applications developed in-house.
Furthermore, updating software can be a time-consuming process, especially across multiple servers and devices. A managed IT service provider, such as F1 Support, can simplify the entire experience by taking ownership of the process while ensuring that the client’s cybersecurity solutions are as robust as possible to thwart the efforts of criminals. With an understanding of your IT needs and business processes, we can advise you on the best software security solutions for your business, which may involve upgrades in some cases, and manual cybersecurity patches of older applications in others.
From bespoke software security updates to entire network Cloud migrations, our experts can ensure that your business has the latest and most secure software. Of course, no piece of software is ever the ‘finished article’ – developers are constantly staying one step ahead of criminals by releasing patches for their products to eliminate vulnerabilities. We can take control of patch management on your behalf, ensuring that security updates are installed promptly whenever they are released by developers, freeing up your staff to focus on operational duties.
For Cybersecurity Peace Of Mind, Get In Touch With F1 Support Today
As well as managing software upgrades and installing patches, we can also deliver cutting edge network security to protect your business, including antivirus and firewall protection, and data backup and disaster recovery. To find out more, please get in touch one of our IT engineers today.