Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003 end of life

As you all have heard by now, Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003 has reached end of support as of the 14th of April 2014. All Layer3 customers that have older Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003 software will have been contacted by myself to work on a strategy of migrating away from the affected software.

But many users want to know: What are the implications of not upgrading your software?

The official line is that affected software has no support from Microsoft. This means that no security patches will be released, even if security threats are found. This opens you, and your business up to external threats.

Having up-to-date Antivirus/Antimalware software will help prevent these threats, but the threat will always be there.

My background is in programming. I started way back in the 90’s, and still code to this day. Most security threats are cause by what’s known as a buffer overflow. A buffer overflow is where a malicious piece of code is executed against software, such as Windows XP, in order to overload the computer’s memory (buffer) to execute custom code.

This custom code can be anything. From installing Malware or Viruses on to your computer, or stealing personal data.

Generally, Antivirus programs have a problem picking up these sorts of attacks as they operate in a non-standard way (executing a buffer overflow). So just because Antivirus protection is installed and up to date, doesn’t mean it’s going to stop these sorts of threats.

Our advice is to upgrade your software as soon as possible. If you need any advice, or would like further information, don’t hesitate to call us.

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