You may think this is all scaremongering but consider what happened back in May 2017. That’s when hackers, using secret cyberweapons stolen from the US National Security Agency (NSA), targeted organisations like the NHS and Santander in Europe and the rest of the world with the malicious WannaCry ransomware.
The hackers used a security loophole in Windows operating systems to encrypt data on infected computers. That prevented organisations like the NHS from accessing their data. Using a tool known as ‘EternalBlue’ to speed up the spread of the ‘WannaCry’ ransomware across 150 countries. Affected organisations were issued with a ransom demand to regain access to their data, the attack hit more than a third of NHS Trusts. They were compromised because they were still using an outdated Windows system and they hadn’t followed cybersecurity recommendations, according to a National Audit Office report.
You can see from this example how vital it is to upgrade software and technology to ensure what your organisation uses is kept secure and working efficiently.
If you continue to use unsupported Microsoft software and technology after their ‘End of Life’ dates, you will be playing a deadly game of Russian roulette with your company’s future. It will only take one Trojan horse, one hack or one worm to breach your data and your company may be done. At the very least, your company’s reputation will be damaged. At the worst, your company will be penalised under the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) that became law on May 25, 2018.
The management of data breaches is one of the most critical aspects of the GDPR. It’s why your organisation must ensure the security of the personal data you hold on employees, customers and suppliers is adequate. The more sensitive the information you hold, the tighter the security needs to be.
If you fail to comply, you’ll not only damage your company’s reputation but also make it more likely you’ll be hit with sanctions or fines from the ICO.
That’s why using unprotected software and technology is so high-risk. It’s like leaving the keys to your office tucked under the front doormat. Or sharing your company bank details on Facebook. It’s only a matter of time until someone somewhere seizes the opportunity to take it all off your hands.
IT problems cost UK private sector companies a fortune every year just in terms of lost productivity. Employees in the UK’s private sector waste a whole working day every month due to IT issues, at an annual cost of £35 billion to the UK economy, according to research by IT provider Managed 24/7 and YouGov.
It found that an average of 5.59% of an employee’s productive time is wasted on IT problems. That equates to 27 minutes every day, 2.5 hours every week, or a whole day every month.
If you continue to use software and technology after their End of Life dates, you’re likely to find that they are incompatible with other software and technology, and so cause performance issues. Some applications, such as the latest version of Sage Line 50 for example, won’t install on these older versions, while others will be sluggish at best.
It’s why upgrading makes good sense. Streamlined systems mean greater productivity, so with minimal disruption to business you’ll be able to keep staff, customers and your accounts team happy.
We have produced a brief guide to the software afected and the risks here.
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