Clean Out “Dead Tech” – For Safety’s Sake

2019-06-24T20:38:21+00:00By |Uncategorized|

In the world of IT, there’s never a shortage of things vying for your attentions – and never a shortage of “must-do” tasks to be preformed.  Some of these are time – and energy-intensive, and despite their “must-do status, they still wind up being nudged aside.  Cleaning out or replacing old technology tends to be one of these.  Don’t let it be.

More and more, companies are waking up to the fact that outdated hardware and software aren’t just inconveniences or sources of inefficiency – they are a security threat.  There are still many companies out there running Windows XP and other unsupported operating systems and since Microsoft no longer produces security patches for critical vulnerabilities in the operating system, critical security holes will be found by attackers.  Believe me, there’s nothing like finding that all of your data has been encrypted by offshore criminals demanding a huge ransom for recovery to spoil your day – unless it’s learning that the outdated applications, devices, or security measures you were using opened the door for them.

Basically,  your business can be compromised in one of two ways – first from your users (employees) inadvertently letting a threat in and second from hackers taking advantage of vulnerable technology deployed in your environment.  You don’t always protect against the first, but the second is firmly within your control.  At Red Level, we counsel our clients to take a regular audit of the applications, hardware, networking and security solutions they are using and assess them for their reliability and security.  It can be a daunting process, especially in large organizations with limited IT resources – but that doesn’t make it any less vital.

I have written before about steps organizations should take to minimize their vulnerability to cyberattacks.  As obvious as the hazards posed by outdated hardware and software seem, actually buckling down and tackling them seems to be difficult for many companies – sometimes because they just aren’t sure what to look for.  Here are a few immediate suggestions:

  • Firewalls. There is virtually no device that cannot ultimately be compromised, given enough dedicated effort and/or reverse engineering.  Yur once state-of-the-art firewall could now be a mere speed bump for today’s sophisticated hackers – and it’s one of the first devices you should take a close look at.
  • Operating systems.  Still running an OS that’s pass it’s supported lifecycle?  You will probably live to regret it, even if your company doesn’t.  Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, for example, are still out there in the wild – as are many hackers ready ans able to exploit their vulnerabilities that will not be patched.

In a world were, according to PriceWaterhouse Coopers, 23% of banks and 19% of health care organizations have reported incidents of customer data being compromised, we feel we can’t emphasize the risk outdated technology poses strongly enough.  It’s a big reason why we’re hosting our “Technology Spring Cleaning” event the June 7th:  If we can help business to clean out the weak links in their systems ans raise awareness of the risks they pose, we’re doing both our client and ourselves a big favor.  After all, it’s a lot simper and cheaper to take preventive measures now that it is to deal with catastrophic events later.

 

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As a comprehensive technology services company, Red Level delivers customized scalable technology solutions designed precisely to our client's unique needs – solutions that accelerate growth, reduce costs and enable collaboration. As a preferred partner to technology leaders such as Microsoft, DellEMC, and VMWare, we deploy the most advanced business technology solutions, ensuring optimal reliability, productivity and value.