The Dangers of Running Outdated Software

Published: 2023-01-11 in security

Running outdated software can leave you vulnerable in several ways. When you reach End of Life or End of Service, you no longer have access to vital patches and updates. 

Updates can be easily overlooked when the software is still functional. However, it is important to keep your software up-to-date and here is why: running outdated software can lead to security risks, data loss, and compliance issues.

We will be covering the problems that can occur while running outdated software and the importance of being proactive when software reaches End of Life or End of Service. 


Implications of using outdated software

The implications of running outdated software can be divided into three categories: 

Security implications

Using outdated software can have severe security implications, such as:

•    You will not have the latest security patches from the vendor that target known exploits. 
•    Cybercriminals are always hard at work looking for ways to exploit your software. At the point of a new update, these hackers have already reverse- engineered the software and developed exploitive code allowing them easier access into your system.                                            
•    Data loss and corruption can occur when running outdated software due to compatibility issues with the hardware and other software.
•    Using outdated software can violate the security policies that your organization has in place. This can compromise security and operating efficiency.  

Privacy implications

The continued use of outdated software that is no longer supported by the vendor, can result in hefty fines. A data privacy fine is the result of an application that contains sensitive information that is no longer protected due to lack of security updates.

For example, The Federal Trade Commission of the US has taken legal action against Chegg Inc. for neglecting to patch vulnerabilities within software that exposed millions of customers and employee’s sensitive data. This included email addresses, passwords, and Social Security numbers. There had been four security breaches over the course of five years that Chegg chose to ignore.

The Federal Trade Commission has proposed the order to have Chegg Inc. immediately take action on the vulnerabilities present and make the necessary changes to limit the amount of data the software can collect and save, providing users with multifactor authentication, and allowing users to delete their information from their accounts. 

Productivity implications

Outdated software can have serious consequences when it comes to productivity and efficiency. Software that is out-of-date can lag, crash often, and can be more difficult for the user to use. These issues can ultimately damage the company’s reputation due to poor employee and customer experience. 


Collaborate for success

Now that you have recognized the dangers that outdated software can bring, it is now time to plan the next steps forward. Partnering with an expert IT service provider like us will ensure that all your outdated software is detected, and we can provide the latest updates and versions of the software you use. We can also keep you informed on the latest threats and how to alleviate them.

You can learn more by contacting us today, click the link below. 

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