Reporters from the Times and the Guardian claim that while on a tour of the UK’s new aircraft carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, Windows XP was seen on a computer screen inside a control room.
The ship is not scheduled to be fully operational until 2026, but the sighting has raised concerns amongst the security community that the vessel could be easily targeted by hackers since the XP software has not been supported by Microsoft since 2014.
The problem with running outdated software is that once software ceases to be maintained by its developer, there are limits on the mitigations that will be effective in defending against new cyber threats that will emerge. Over time, new vulnerabilities will be discovered that can be exploited by low-skilled hackers, leaving your organizations susceptible to attack, data loss, or even fiscal consequences.
In the corporate IT environment, the problem is substantially worse in that if your computer is not up to date with the latest security threat mitigations in place, then you are posing a risk to the entire network. This was the significant factor that made WannaCry such a devastatingly damaging cyber attack in that the Ransomware was designed to ‘worm’ around the network, infecting any other vulnerable systems.
NNT has several Ransomware Mitigation Kits, comprising the necessary automated vulnerability checks and Group Policy/Puppet templates to automatically fix any weaknesses identified in your environment.
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