Ransomeware - don't be caught out!

End of life hardware and software can cause serious problems in system architecture.

After the end of life (EOL) status of a product is announced, it’s likely that security fixes, patches, and firmware updates for the product will be reduced or eliminated. Reduced or non-existent support creates a significant security risk and leaves a company’s network open to malicious cyber-attacks such as Ransomeware.

HTG can advise on the options available to you to replace or improve your current hardware / software.

 

Ransomware - the affects

Ransomware attacks are one of the most prolific and costly forms of cyber-attack. Hackers take control of an organisation’s computer system and scramble their information until a substantial ransom is paid, effectively crippling access to business data and applications, and preventing companies from operating.

The WannaCry malware is a particularly dangerous piece of ransomware that took advantage of vulnerabilities in old Windows operating systems. It has infected major organisations, including the NHS, where it disrupted hospital systems across the UK costing the NHS £92m. Foreign exchange firm Travelex was also held to ransom by cyber attackers who said they would expose sensitive customer details unless paid millions by Travelex.

Ransomware - downtime, cost implications, and risk

Not only is downtime a real threat and the cost implications potentially high, your business will not retain compliance for ISO27001, CyberEssentials, and PCI to name a few. Losing such certifications that are a pre-requisite of being a supplier and doing business, will inevitably lead to businesses being struck off supplier lists. Avoidance is the right policy:

  • You need systems in place that protect all your devices from ransomware including keeping your operating system patched and up-to-date to ensure you have less vulnerabilities to exploit
  • Don’t install software or give administrative privileges unless you know exactly what it is and what it does.

End of Life - Decreased Productivity

Using outdated equipment can significantly reduce productivity. Older hardware and software are more likely to fail due to age, disrupting your business operations. This may result in costly downtime for your company.

End of Life - Higher Maintenance Costs

In many cases, when a product is end of life, replacement parts are also discontinued. This means that replacement parts or accessories often become difficult and expensive to find. Sometimes businesses hire third-party consultants and support teams that create temporary solutions for more complex issues. This too can further make using an EOL solution more expensive in the long-run rather than upgrading to newer equipment.

End of Life - Problems with Scalability

EOL equipment often is limited in its ability to adapt to changing needs in the data centre. IT professionals should make use of newer and more advanced equipment as the volume and complexity of data centre operations increase. This will allow them to leverage improvements in areas like data processing, energy consumption, and modularity.

Non-Compliance

For IT infrastructure to remain compliant with regulatory standards, equipment must meet required levels of protection and functionality. This is particularly important for data centres operating in government and financial institutions where data breaches can result in severe legal consequences and penalties. As previously stated, losing such certifications that are a pre-requisite of being a supplier and doing business, will inevitably lead to businesses being struck off the supplier list.

As an experienced provider of secure data access and management solutions, HTG is here to help our customers choose the best end of life solution that fits your unique needs. HTG’s IT management solutions are designed to ensure cost-effective, robust and secure EOL management for your business.

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