Posted on Jun 8, 2016
End-of-Service or End-Of-Life (EOL), is a term applied to hardware or software when a manufacturer stops supporting it with any updates. This can be very problematic since any vulnerabilities that are found (and can subsequently be exploited by hackers) will never be patched. This can cause widespread damage if a software, such as an operating system, becomes End-Of-Life and is still used by companies and enterprises. Fortunately, manufacturers usually announce that they will cease support with enough time in advance for companies to upgrade or replace the End-Of-Life product.
Unfortunately, not all companies react swiftly and EOL products are still in use, increasing the risk of exploitation and a resulting data breach. For example, mainstream support for Windows XP ended in 2011 and extended support ended in 2014. Microsoft continued to support an embeddable version of Windows XP for ATMs until January 2016. However, as Motherboard reported last year, an estimated 35,000 computers on London’s Metropolitan Police network is still using the EOL product.
More recently, the last updates on Internet Explorer version 8, 9, and 10 were released in mid-January. If you or your employees are not using Internet Explorer 11 or Microsoft’s Edge Browser and instead using an unsupported version of the browser, then you and your company’s security is exposed to known vulnerabilities.
If you want to learn about the extent of the End-Of-Life problem, check out our infographic below.
With hackers finding new ways to attack third-parties in hopes of infecting a larger organization, the third-party ecosystem is more fragile than ever before.
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