Shocking Reality: 95% of ATMs Run Insecure Software

ATM Windows XP95% of the globally ATMs still run Windows XP!

On April 8th, 2014, Microsoft will end support for its 12 year-old operating system, Windows XP. After that date, Microsoft will no longer release security patches and bug fixes for systems running Windows XP.

If you continue to run Windows XP, your systems will be extremely vulnerable to viruses and malware. Despite the risks, Windows XP is commonly used on systems around the world. According to a recent study by AVAST:

  • Windows XP is running on 20% of computers.
  • Windows XP is running on computers in 96% of schools.
  • Windows XP is running on 10% of Federal government computers, including some classified military networks.
  • Windows XP is running on 95% of all U.S. ATMs.

Several major financial institutions, including JPMorgan, have decided to pay for extended customer service to protect the outdated software. However, financial institutions that fail to pay for extended customer service will be rendered non-compliant with payment card industry (PCI) requirements. If declared non-compliant during an audit, fines could be extremely expensive.

Since 2008, Microsoft has been warning businesses about the end of support for Windows XP in April 2014. Yet so many businesses continue to ignore the warnings and run the outdated operating system. So what happens to those businesses?

The Security Risks of Running Windows XP

Cybercriminals have been hoarding exploits until the end of support date, when vulnerabilities will significantly impact systems running Windows XP. While many businesses believe firewalls and anti-virus software will protect their systems, those businesses will realize fairly quickly that firewalls and anti-virus software cannot protect an unsupported and unpatched operating system.

According to Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center blog, “Our research shows that the effectiveness of anti-malware solutions on out-of-support operating systems is limited. Running a well-protected solution starts with using modern software and hardware designed to help protect against today’s threat landscape.”

If you continue to run Windows XP, you will suffer the consequences, which includes malware infections and potential data breaches. For financial institutions, ATMs could be hacked in a variety of ways. When it comes to the end of support date for Windows XP, it’s critical to migrate to a secure operating system.

If you’re still running Windows XP on business-critical systems, give us a call at (713) 490-.5000 or send us an email at info@citoc.com. CITOC can help you migrate to a secure operating system.  

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