Monday, March 31, 2014

With less than a month for deadline, 95% of world’s ATMs still run Windows XP

With less than a month for deadline, 95% of world’s ATMs still run Windows XP
Windows XP's April deadline could be a little too soon for banks

With less than a month to go before Microsoft ends support for Windows XP, a lot of businesses have begun upgrading their systems to avoid crucial productivity loss and also protect against security vulnerability. One of the most important machines that need to be upgraded from Windows XP on an urgent basis are ATMs, says a report by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Most alarmingly, Windows XP still powers most of the world’s ATM machines- estimated to be about 95 percent – which puts your friendly neighbourhood cash machine in grave danger of being used by hackers to steal financial data. Microsoft plans to pull plug on Windows XP on 8 April, but will continue to support its security products through July 2015. However, the company has warned, “the effectiveness of antimalware solutions on out-of-support operating systems is limited.”

The newer fleet of advanced ATMs will be capable of upgrading their machines to a newer version of Windows through their network. On the other hand, older ATMs will need to install the new version on the machines one by one, says the report.

In India too a majority of public sector banks use XP for their ATM machines and Microsoft said over 34,000 banks were in grave danger. Amrish Goyal, General Manager of Windows Business Group, said at the time that 50 percent of the Indian banking sector was still on Windows XP in November. The size of the commercial PC market was estimated at 20 million for that period, which means a significant number of systems were at risk then and presumably continue to be. If the banks do not upgrade by the April deadline, they will face issues ranging from security breaches to increased downtime and out-of-service situations.

Those looking to upgrade from Windows XP, here’s how you can take all your data.

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