Google Chrome has stopped supporting certain operating systems on both PC and Mac platforms as of April 2016. This means security updates and patches will stop and certain unsupported browsers might become unstable, leaving older operating systems increasingly vulnerable to attack from opportunistic individuals and malicious software. Where does that leave users in the face of constantly evolving hackers, viruses, and malware?
Early in 2015, Google officially announced that Chrome would only support Windows XP through the remainder of 2015 and that Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8, 10.7, and 10.6 would completely stop receiving updates, fixes, and general support by April 2016. Though Chrome would remain functional on these platforms, the OS would no longer receive critical updates—leaving user’s sensitive information increasingly vulnerable to attack.
Aging Operating Systems are Open for Assault
Google’s main reason for ending support appears to be the fact that these older software systems are no longer supported by Apple or Microsoft. Chrome’s reasoning doesn’t change legacy OS user figures, however. More than a million PCs still rely on Windows XP, and options for safe, functional browsers are becoming fewer and less reliable every day. Industry experts agree that it is becoming increasingly important that users of these older systems start looking for OS upgrades to avoid the potential for security issues. The ultimate goal is to protect against the ongoing assault of hackers and malware into increasingly vulnerable, aging systems.
While Firefox is still offering support for certain users of these legacy operating systems, no one knows how long this functionality will last. Meanwhile, hackers and malware developers are becoming more advanced and adept at exploiting current system security flaws.
Return on Investment: Upgrades are More Cost-Effective Than Rescues
Many business users have resisted upgrading due to general operational familiarity with long-standing systems and a misconception of the overall cost involved in a migration. However, experts agree that the return on investment is considerable.
The costs associated with rescuing your business’ data, restoring what’s left of your customer’s financial security, and resuming normal operations combined with the loss of profits during down time will likely far outweigh the upfront costs associated with an upgrade. This is especially true if you have a relationship with an IT provider that you trust, one that is familiar with your business needs and aware of the best course of action for your particular situation.
Don’t Go It Alone–DIY Upgrades Carry More Risk than Reward
Of course, business owners and managers are right to be apprehensive about upgrading their OS—doing so without professional guidance is no easy task and can unnecessarily place your valuable company data at risk. During a DIY-style migration, certain software that your business depends on can become completely nonfunctional. To make matters worse, that previously dependable software may no longer be in business—rendering any efforts at customer service and recovery completely futile. If your business relies on legacy software, important business data can become corrupted and even permanently lost during an unprofessional upgrade.
Choosing the right IT company can mean the difference between a painless upgrade and one wrought with serious problems. Preemptively launching a professional migration before it becomes a rescue mission is the smarter approach and an investment in your business’ information security, overall profitability, and future success.
Sterling Technology Solutions is the trusted choice when it comes to keeping your IT infrastructure current and mitigating the risk of ever-evolving strategies deployed by hackers, malware, and viruses. We are always ahead of the game to provide our clients with the latest information technology innovations, tips, and news. Contact us at (704) 271-5001 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.