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The Dangers of Running Outdated Software


Your software is only as good as its last patch. Reaching End of Life (EoL) or End of Service (EoS) means critical patches and updates are no longer available. Some businesses make the mistake of not upgrading software right away because it still works. Old software can cause security risks, data loss, compliance problems, and other difficulties.

The following are key variables of running old software and why it’s important to take action when your software reaches End of Life or End of Support.

Concerns About Security

Your security is at risk when using old software, including the following vulnerabilities:

  • The vendor is no longer sending you security patches, leaving your system open to known attacks.
  • Individuals who pose a threat may have already figured out how the software works and made exploit code, which makes it easier for them to get into your system.
  • Running out-of-date software can cause problems with other software and hardware, which can lead to data loss or corruption.
  • Using out-of-date software may be against your organization’s security policies, which can hurt its ability to stay safe in the future and perform its task well.

Privacy Implications

Using old software can have serious effects on your privacy. If the software’s manufacturer doesn’t support it anymore and it has sensitive information, you may face a data privacy fine.

For example, in the US, the Federal Trade Commission is taking action against Chegg Inc. for failing to patch vulnerabilities that exposed sensitive information about millions of its customers and employees, such as Social Security numbers, email addresses and passwords. Chegg allegedly couldn’t resolve issues, even though there were four security breaches over the course of five years.

According to the FTC’s proposed order, the company must fix the problems right away and take different steps, such as limiting the amount of data it can collect and keep, giving users multifactor authentication to protect their accounts, and letting users access and delete their own data.

Productivity Implications

Outdated software can hurt a business’s productivity. If it runs slowly, crashes often, or is overall difficult to use, it can make employees angry and disrupt workflows. Difficulties can then lead to a bad customer experience and ultimately hurt the company’s reputation and bottom line. Ensure business runs smoothly by keeping software up to date. 

You’ve already taken the first step toward keeping your business safe by realizing that using old software is dangerous. If you are already experiencing the side effects of operating old software, it may be time to call in some help. Partnering with an IT service provider like Keystone Technology Consultants can ease your worry, allowing you to focus on your business.

Keystone can help you protect your business by keeping you up to date on the latest security threats and how to fix them, updating your systems and more. Contact us for a consultation. 

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