The Harsh Realities of Running Unsupported Software
Running unsupported software can be a tricky proposition, and it's something that many people do without fully understanding the risks involved. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at what unsupported software is, why people might be tempted to run it, and what you can do to protect yourself.
What is unsupported software?
When a software developer ends support for a specific software product, that means they will no longer provide security updates, bug fixes, or customer support. This could be because the manufacturer has gone out of business, they have discontinued the product, or because the product is simply too old to be supported anymore.
Why people might be tempted to run unsupported software
There are a number of reasons why people might be tempted to run unsupported software. Perhaps they have an old computer that isn't capable of running the latest software(which is a completely different risk), or maybe they're simply attached to a particular piece of software and don't want to upgrade to something newer. It's also possible that they simply can't decide what software to move into. Whatever the reason, running unsupported software can be outright dangerous.
The risks of running unsupported software
Running unsupported software can leave you vulnerable to security risks. Without updates, any vulnerabilities that are discovered in the software will not be fixed, leaving your system open to attack.
This can be especially dangerous if you're running a system that is connected to the internet, (which is the most likely scenario) as it can be targeted by hackers who are looking for these vulnerabilities to exploit.
The consequences of running outdated software can be more significant if your business is in a regulated industry such as healthcare or payment processing. Regulated businesses need to ensure they are using only the most updated software. When unsupported software is run in these industries, it may not meet regulatory requirements, leading to hefty fines, and sometimes legal action.
Additionally, unsupported software may not be compatible with newer operating systems or hardware, which can cause compatibility issues and may even cause your system to crash or become unstable.
What you can do to protect yourself
Just don't run unsupported software. Update the software that you are using to its current version.
If that product is at its end of life, make a decision to move to a product that meets your needs and is currently being supported. Check that the product lifecycle has significant time left on it OR make sure that your vendor has upgrade paths defined for when the product comes to end-of-life.
Finally, it's always a good idea to back up your system regularly so that you can recover quickly in case anything ever goes wrong.
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Running unsupported software can be tempting, but it's important to understand the risks involved. Sometimes it's better to just let go of old software and upgrade to something newer that will increase efficiency and productivity. Best of all, you can rest easy that your critical business data will be more secure.
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