For many of us, outdated software is associated with irritatingly long loading times and crashes at the most inconvenient moment possible. But as businesses enter an advanced wave of digital transformation and rely on IT to operate, legacy tech and old operating systems present serious risk to operations, continuity, competitiveness and finance.

Here, we walk you through the top 4 risks that outdated software invites into your business.

1. Ransomware 

Ransomware is having somewhat of a resurgence recently and as such, it’s a hot topic of conversation between Starcom Technologies and our customers. But the good news is, that by showing your software and operating systems some TLC, your business can hugely improve its resilience against ransomware attack.

Outdated software and OS’ are particularly vulnerable to ransomware infiltration and frequently targeted because of the easy in-road – in fact, 96% of outdated software has serious vulnerabilities. The most famous attack of recent years is surely the WannaCry outbreak which affected 160,00 computers worldwide running Windows 7, including the UK’s NHS network. But businesses are hit by ransomware every day and just because they don’t get the news coverage, it doesn’t make the impacts any less serious.

2. Poor business performance

Sure, we’ve all battled with a slow endpoint or a patchy firewall in need of an upgrade. But today’s technology rarely works in isolation, and as integration rightly becomes commonplace, one dodgy piece of software or legacy operating system could have a knock-on effect.

For example, an old operating system integrated with other business systems may become infected with a worm, which then travels across your network causing major disruption. Or, a slow, inconsistent piece of critical software delays processes further down the line, meaning productivity, efficiency and communications take a hit.

3. Compromised networks

As businesses grow, digital transformation advances and remote working becomes more commonplace, so will our use of mobile devices. And, with employees often being responsible for implementing updates (or reporting issues), mobile device security and performance can often slip up the IT team’s radar.

If even one mobile device is running an outdated browser or OS – and is connected to your corporate network – your security risk is weakened. Therefore, you need to establish a continuous monitoring framework with employees to ensure mobile devices are kept up to date, and the data on your network remains in lockdown.

4. Unnecessary spending

Unsupported software or operating systems can become a real thorn in the side financially. From purchasing additional IT infrastructure to prop up old technology, to purchasing extended licenses and paying a provider more to maintain legacy tech – the bills quickly rack up. And, you’re not even getting the performance or security benefits!

Running the latest versions of any technology often means access to support for no extra fee. It also can reward you with indirect savings generated from increased productivity – one study has suggested that software more than 4 years old accounts for £800 in lost productivity per employee.

Are you worried that there may be legacy software or archaic operating systems lurking within your IT estate? The best way to weed out risks is to get an IT health check, which will analyse everything from endpoints to networks, giving you the visibility you need to take action. For help and advice, contact our experts on 0844 579 0800 or click here.

by Stuart Buckley

Sales Director

An IT specialist for over 20 years, with a wealth of technical and commercial knowledge, experience and skill in managed services, cloud and hosted solutions.