While it’s pretty clear that Microsoft wants everyone to move to Windows 8.1, the company also needs to keep an eye on the security of users still running Windows XP, as its future Patch Tuesday rollouts could indirectly make them vulnerable.
Sergio Galindo, general manager, Infrastructure Business Unit, at GFI Software, mentioned in an interview with InsideCounsel what could become the main threat for Windows XP computers: the upcoming Patch Tuesdays.
Basically, Microsoft is using Patch Tuesdays to fix vulnerabilities it finds in a wide array of products, including the Windows operating system. But, in most cases, the same security flaw is discovered on all versions of Windows, so it’s possible that, in the future, one of the issues it finds on Windows 8.1 for example to also exist on Windows XP. That could make Windows XP machines really vulnerable to attacks.
“When we talk about the potentially imminent threats for law firms using XP, it’s the holes that will be identified by Microsoft for the other platforms,. And those holes, just because they’re the same code base, often have the same vulnerability in XP. So basically we’re telling the thieves how to get in the house, and we’re not going to lock the front door,” Galindo explained.
And he does have a point here. Microsoft doesn’t usually provide in-depth details of the security flaws it fixes, but it still offers plenty of information that could help hackers develop exploits supposed to take advantage of the addressed vulnerabilities.
While the Redmond company releases patches aimed at these flaws on supported Windows versions, Windows XP would remain completely vulnerable, even though third-party security software is running on the computer.
That’s why Microsoft is trying so hard to convince people to upgrade to a newer OS version. The company claims that Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 are the only options for Windows XP users hoping to stay secure, but that doesn’t seem to be such a big problem for those still running the 13-year-old platform. Instead, many are planning to stay on Windows XP a little longer, at least until Windows 9 hits the shelves and they are provided with an operating system that looks a bit more familiar.
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