End of Windows XP, Have You Upgraded?

Microsoft will stop updating Windows XP. If you’ve upgraded your systems then you’re on track!  If you haven’t had time like many out there, you’re not alone.  We can help, just contact us today.  If upgrading your system is completely out of the question at the moment, here are 8 recommended tips.Windows XP Tips

  1. Get up to date in April 2014, and check you have every patch that Microsoft has ever offered you. 08 April 2014 will be your last Microsoft patch, so you probably won’t be revisiting Windows Update.
  2. Keep updating other software that you may be using, such as Flash, Java, your anti-virus, and more. Sophos Anti-Virus, for example will be supported on XP SP3 until at least 30 September 2015. (See tip [8].)
  3. Consider tightening up the restrictions imposed by your anti-virus and your endpoint firewall (if you use one). If you must keep XP computers going, try to shrink their operational universe, so that they get used only when necessary, rather than whenever it’s convenient.
  4. Remove all software and drivers you are not using. In fact, make an active effort to minimize the set of applications you permit on your XP computers. Even software that is still being patched depends on operating system components that aren’t, and it simply may not be possible for your vendor to work round lower-level holes in Microsoft’s code.
  5. If your anti-virus has an Application Control feature, use it to enforce any software restrictions you decide upon in tip [4]. Application Control lets you set rules like, “Skype and other instant messaging clients aren’t allowed at all, so we don’t need to worry about any data they might leak.”
  6. Put your XP computers on their own network, and limit access into and out of that network as strictly as you can. If you are a Sophos UTM user, you can add UTM gateways to set extra, stricter network filtering for your XP computers, such as blocking email and instant messaging traffic, and preventing the use of social networks.
  7. Urgently get rid of administrator-level user accounts if you have any left. You should have done this years ago, throwing out any desktop software which required administrator privilege to work. It’s now more important than ever to do this, in order to reduce the scope of an attack if hackers do manage to get in.
  8. Get on with your personal or organizational efforts to get rid of XP.Tips [2] to [7] don’t really buy you more time – they just reduce the risk while you catch up. Don’t be in this position again when 01 April 2015 comes around.



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