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Did you know that if half of your organization’s devices run outdated software then the chance of you suffering a data breach increases three-fold? Cybercriminals are constantly looking for potential entry points into organizations, and outdated software is one of their favorite routes to exploitation. 

What Is Outdated Software? 

Outdated software is software that is no longer supported by technology vendors. This means that any new vulnerabilities discovered in the program will not be addressed, leaving them open to exploitation by cybercriminals. Outdated software is also less likely to be compatible with newer operating systems.

All software, including device operating systems, eventually reaches its sell-by date. Ideally, as soon as software becomes out of date, you should stop using it. And yet, research shows that many organizations still use old, outdated software instead of upgrading their systems. 

5 Risks Of Outdated Software

If you’re one of the companies out there that’s using outdated software, you need to think about upgrading as a matter of urgency. Here’s why. 

Outdated software is more vulnerable to ransomware attacks 

As we’ve mentioned, outdated software is more vulnerable to exploitation and, in particular, ransomware. Cast your mind back to 2017. Do you remember the infamous WannaCry attack that caused havoc in organizations across the globe? Most of the systems involved in this attack were using an outdated Windows operating system, for which there were no longer patches.

Had the organizations involved in the attack upgraded their systems, they would have been able to completely avoid the incident. 

Stifled Innovation 

The technology world is undoubtedly fast paced. Just look at how digital tools have revolutionized industries in the last ten years alone. However, if your employees use old operating systems and software, you’ll likely fall behind the pace of innovation.

This is because older operating systems are unlikely to be compatible with newer technologies, meaning you won’t be able to take advantage of the latest and greatest tools out there.

Downtime

Frequent system crashes can wreak havoc on your bottom line, preventing customers from accessing your services when they want to. This simply doesn’t float in today’s age. Customers expect seamless, superfast online experiences. If they can’t get hold of you or access your website, they’ll take their business elsewhere. 

Unfortunately, older operating systems are much more prone to crashes than newer ones. So, if you’re avoiding upgrading your systems due to the cost, think of the big picture. Lost revenue and prospects will eat away at your bottom line in the long-term, costing you much more than the cost of a system upgrade. 

Hindered Employee Productivity

As well as being more prone to downtime, legacy software tends to run slower than its newer counterparts. This is a terrible thing for employee productivity. Your people will take longer to complete tasks and may grow frustrated with their slow, whirring machine. 

In fact, research shows that 49% of employees are frustrated by the tech and tools their organization provides and 64% believe that the way they interact with technology directly impacts morale.

In this sense, failing to upgrade isn’t just bad for productivity; it’s also bad for the employee experience. In line with this, the study also found that 26% of employees are considering quitting their jobs because they lack suitable tech.

Compliance Risks

Using outdated software also increases the likelihood that you could be at odds with compliance mandates like the GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA and GBLA, depending on the sector you operate in. 

Under these regulations, auditors have the power to fine companies that fail to upgrade their software after it’s no longer supported. This is because it’s well known that these systems are a prime target for malicious actors, making organizations more likely to suffer a devastating data breach or cyber attack. 

While many smaller organizations think cyber-criminals aren’t interested in their organizations, this simply isn’t the case. All companies now run on data. If your business processes and stores personally identifiable information (PII) of any sort, then you are of interest to cybercriminals.

Plus, even if you manage to fly under the radar, you could become embroiled in a software supply chain attack, such as the WannaCry incident discussed above. 

It’s Time to Upgrade Your Outdated Legacy Systems 

With so many risks associated with outdated software, organizations should focus on upgrading urgently. Not only will this improve security, you’ll also improve employee productivity and unlock the potential for innovation in your organization. 

If you’d like support with upgrading your devices, cloud tools and networks, chat to us. We can support you with ongoing proactive maintenance of servers, desktops and laptops, as well as mobile devices, as part of our total IT management service. With us by your side, you’ll never have to worry about outdated software again! 

Contact us at (303) 282-4934 or go through our website for further information.

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