One of the highest hit rates I ever had on my blog was one I wrote right before Conficker broke out. I called it Playing Russian Roulette with your Network. The background was, that we released an out of band security update and our customers came back and asked us, whether they really shall deploy it – this situation then led to Conficker.
About 12 months from today, Windows XP will go out of support and the discussion with some customers reminds me of the Conficker situation. Everybody knows, that something bad can happen and most probably will happen but we close our eyes. One of the reasons in this case is, that Windows XP just works and the migration is expensive.
As of end of April, we currently see about 30% of the devices used in companies still running Windows XP – running an Operating System which was designed and developed when we still used ISDN, Wireless LAN did not really catch broad attention and I worked with Token Ring during business hours. And 30% of our customers trust this operating system to protect their business? Not only from a confidentiality point of view but what about availability when a broader attack happens? If you need a slide deck, which shows this evolution, I posted 2 slides, which land extremely well in Windows Security Evolution.
To me, this is fairly close to not rolling out security updates. I wrote it more than once: Keeping your software on the latest version (not only ours but third-party like Java, Adobe, Apple etc as well) is probably my number 1 ask to customers to keep their environment safe.
If you need help for the migration, there is a lot of good content out there – but please start, if you have not already done so:
- Windows XP to Windows 7 Migration Guide
- Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows® 8
- Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.6
- Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit for Windows 8, Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 9
- Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT)
- The Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows 7
- User State Migration Tool (USMT) 4.0 User’s Guide
- Windows XP to Windows 7 Hard-Link Migration of User Files and Settings
- Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor
- Windows Optimized Desktop Scenarios – Solution Accelerator
Help me, to sleep better – when the figure of the 30% Windows XP gets much, much lower
- Decline of Windows XP usage stalls a year before its 2014 death (digitaltrends.com)
- Did Windows XP or Windows 7 Come First? (smallbusiness.chron.com)