The Dangers of Running Outdated Software

The Dangers of Running Outdated Software

Your software is only as good as its last patch and the dangers of running outdated software can impact your organization negatively. Reaching End of Life (EoL) or End of Service (EoS) means critical patches and updates are no longer available, leaving you vulnerable to various problems.

Some people delay upgrading software because it is still working, but that can be risky. Outdated software can leave your company open to security breaches, data loss and other compliance problems. Software that is not maintained or regularly patched can also be more susceptible to malicious attacks. Many hackers target older versions of software because they know there are vulnerabilities in them and they can exploit them.

If you’re running outdated software, here are some reasons why it might be time for an upgrade:

Implications of using outdated software

The implications of running outdated software can be divided into three categories:

Security implications

Using old software could leave your computer vulnerable to viruses and other malicious programs, such as:

  • You no longer receive security patches from the vendor, leaving your system vulnerable to known exploits.
  • If threat actors have reverse-engineered the software and developed exploit code, they may be able to compromise your system more easily.
  • Running outdated software may cause compatibility issues with other software and hardware, leading to data loss or corruption.
  • Using outdated software hinders the implementation of a secure infrastructure.

Privacy implications

You may encounter serious legal and ethical issues if you use outdated software. If the software you are using is no longer supported by its vendor and contains sensitive information, it could pose a risk to your company’s reputation.

For example, in the United States, 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 address problems despite four security breaches over a five-year period.

Productivity implications

Outdated software can cause productivity problems in a business.

For example, if the software runs slowly, crashes frequently or is otherwise difficult to use, it can frustrate employees and disrupt workflows. This can result in negative customer experiences, damage to a company’s reputation, and a hit on profits.

Keeping software up to date can help avoid these problems. The cost of outdated software can be significant. For example, outdated operating systems, apps and browsers may not support new features or technologies. This can make it difficult for employees to do their jobs efficiently, which could result in lost productivity.

Keeping software up to date is important for the security of your business’ data as well as its functionality. Security patches for operating systems, apps and browsers are released regularly by vendors in response to new threats that are discovered.

You’ve already taken the first step toward securing your company by recognizing the dangers of using outdated software. However, mitigating the above implications may be a heavy lift for you since you’ll have to set aside extra time and effort while running an organization.

If you are struggling with identifying or mitigating old or outdated software, we’re here to help.