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Companies Stuck As Microsoft Ends Support for Windows XP 2

For XP SP2, The Journey Comes To An End July 13

On July 13, Microsoft will officially retire Windows XP Service Pack 2 . Although it will continue to provide security updates for XP Service Pack 3, it will stop providing patches for the older SP2. Microsoft offers support for its products for five years and extended support for another five years. For XP SP2, that journey comes to an end on July 13. Windows XP 3 will be supported until April 2014.

Microsoft issues security updates and other core operating system patches every second Tuesday of the month, known as Patch Tuesday. Whereas most home users typically install these patches automatically, corporate users usually install service packs and security updates manually and only after extensive testing. For large corporate environments, operating system upgrades are often a very perilous and expensive exercise.

According to security risk and compliance management provider Qualys, 50 percent of the several hundred thousand PCs it monitors for its clients are still running Windows XP SP2.  Most of these are probably user desktops, but some may also be applications and appliances that use Windows XP 2 as the base platform. Upgrading such systems may make them inoperable.

According to Sajed Naseem, principal at Washington DC based security firm, Secure Intervention,

” The longer these systems  linger after the July 13 deadline, the more vulnerable they become. There will undoubtedly be many Windows XP 2 systems still out there and hackers know that. Only there will no longer be security patches coming from Microsoft as new holes are discovered and publicized.”

More Stories By William McBorrough

William J McBorrough is a Security Expert with many years of success Managing, Designing, and Implementing medium and large enterprise Physical and Information Technology Security Solutions. His experience spans the spectrum from small e-commerce start-ups to multi-campus state and federal agencies to multi-state financial sector organizations. He is also on the faculty of various universities including University of Maryland University College, EC-Council University, George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College where he conducts research and teach graduate and undergraduate courses relating to cybersecurity, cybercrime, cyberterrorism, and information security and assurance. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Computing Engineering with a concentration in digital networks and a Masters of Science in Information Security and Assurance. He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified in Risk Information System Control (CRISC), and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH).He is well versed in personnel, systems and network security risk management. His core competancies include Developing cost effective solutions to enable mission assurance in the following areas: Enterprise Risk Management, IT Governance, Security Organization Development, Information Security and Assurance

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