Last month, Microsoft’s Windows XP came to the end of its lifecycle and with that Microsoft’s support for the operating system. Whilst this was positive news for sales of Business targeted PCs through European distribution, there were question marks for the reported 30%+ Small and Medium sized businesses that continue to rely on this software and no longer receive updates for XP Service Pack 3.
As anyone who has taken an interest in this development is now aware, without the regular Microsoft updates your system is far more vulnerable to Viruses, Spyware, Malware and other such nasties associated with cyber attacks, which leads to the crux of the issue, security. Can your system remain secure without the continued support of Microsoft? The simple answer is ‘No’, but then again, regardless of which operating system you use, whether that be Windows 7, 8 or 8.1, there will always be an element of risk as it is unlikely that you will ever be fully secure.
Leading Brands in the Security Software market have stated that whilst they will continue to provide robust security solutions which are XP compatible, the best course of action is to move away from XP and upgrade to a newer OS as soon as possible. But have SMBs taken heed? When looking into the CONTEXT distribution data we can see that there has been a small increase of 5.6% in unit sales of Endpoint Security products targeted towards SMBs versus the opening month of the previous year. When focussing at territory level we can see that the key countries driving the growth were the UK, with a positive year on year performance of +17.4%, Spain with a 139% increase in unit sales and Germany with a +4.4% growth.
Another question that can be posed is whether or not Small and Medium sized Businesses are aware of the risks posed by the imminent cut off? The high number of companies still using XP suggests SMBs throughout Europe are not overly aware, prepared or equipped to deal with what’s about to happen.
So as an SMB, is security software a viable solution to combat the end of XP’s support? Absolutely not, but unless as a company you are in the position to either pay big money for Microsoft to keep your system protected or are willing to invest in your business infrastructure, you certainly wouldn’t be doing yourself any harm in having some.