April Brings Spring and Important Deadlines

April is finally here and warm weather is right around the corner! 

April 15th is  “tax day”, a deadline that has many people scrambling at the last minute. Every year some of us are driving downtown to mail our tax return - usually right at midnight. I am amazed each year that I am not the only person who puts off this important responsibility.

This year April also has some added meaning in the business world. On April 8, Microsoft, after 13 years, is pulling the plug on its XP operating system. This means no more fixes, no more support, and most importantly, no more security patches if you are still using this system. This is real. If you don’t upgrade your operating system you are playing Russian roulette with your business.

You may feel that with a 13 year old operating system any “bugs” would be worked out, and it is a stable platform to continue using. However, if a problem arises with XP after April 8 it could bring your system down completely. There will be no fix.

If one of your software\application providers sends out an update that does not integrate well with the XP system, there will be no fix. Continuing to work with the XP system connected to the internet makes your IT vulnerable to security breaches.  The constant risk of online security breaches is a sad reality of daily life.

I had an opportunity to speak recently at an educational conference for attorneys and was amazed at how many were still using XP, with very little IT security in place or a plan to upgrade before the deadline.  Do not wait until midnight on this issue. There is no reason to put your operations at risk.

written by: Phil Lieber - 4/1/2014