outdated computer systems security risk

Cybersecurity and old age – they don’t mix

Old age and cybersecurity

We all know many things don't work as well as they(we) age. It's a fact of life most of us face. While age impacts us personally, the systems around us are also impacted by age. A recent study by cybersecurity firm Coalfire discovered that our older business equipment poses one of our greatest cyber vulnerabilities. That's right, despite your investment of time and money in your cybersecurity and your HIPAA compliance, the outdated equipment you're relying upon in your office could be your Achille's heel.

Here's the challenge you face. Many of these older systems run outdated operating systems that weren't designed to be easily updated. Actually, many of these systems were designed to force you to pay for updates from the manufacturer. While that practice is now out of favor, many of those systems are still in use today, and they contain known vulnerabilities that are easily exploitable. To assist in reducing this exposure, regulatory bodies have allowed manufacturers of tightly regulated equipment to issue security updates without going through the recertification requirements of a full system upgrade. Although this has helped, the problem still persists, and as Coalfire documents here, it's pervasive enough to be a serious cyber-liability. To make matters worse, the replacement/upgrade costs for many of these devices are cost prohibitive, and for many small businesses, it's not an option.

Where does that leave us? If we have such devices on our networks, and a malicious actor gets into our network through common methods like phishing emails, etc., those devices can become the home base for an attacker to launch a myriad of attacks like ransomware, for example.

How do we deal with this? Once again, if you have legacy systems on your network that are essential to your operations, and you're not in a position to replace them, then it's critical that you fortify the perimeter of your network - stop attacks before they get inside. Modern firewalls, whether on-premise or cloud-based, have features designed to do just that. It's your best and most cost-effective option in this scenario.

Our cyber team has extensive experience identifying and implementing the right solution for most small businesses. Let us know how we can be of service to you.

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