Windows XP support is dead. Is your installation at risk?

It has been a long time coming, but the sun has set on Microsoft's support for the Windows XP operating system. She was a faithful old bird. What does this mean for stable systems installed today? Potential security risks.

As of April 8, 2014 Microsoft has discontinued support for Windows XP, which includes regular security risk assessment and release of vulnerability patches. Essentially, there is no such thing as Windows Updates for XP boxes. In the network security climate we live in today, this can be a big problem. Threats are everywhere. From unwitting 3rd party contractors, careless employees with USB keys, and malicious hackers; tackling security holes requires a plan of attack.  Installation of firewall(s) at key points in a network architecture can mitigate security threats.

Image Courtesy of Tofino Security
What should this mean for you? An increased focus on network security.

INS offers a variety of Ethernet security products that can easily improve security with the following benefits:
  • These devices can operate in a "transparent mode" that makes for an in-wire drop in solution that isolates networks without disturbing the IP address configuration of your existing equipment.
  • These solutions operate at near line speeds and have negligible effect on network throughput.
  • By adding this device, the IT network and control network can be easily separated with the appropriate firewall restrictions.
In addition, each manufacturer brings some cutting edge differentiators to the table.
  • Tofino excels in the area of deep packet inspection (DPI) - securing the most granular aspects of industrial protocols for the highest level of read/write access controls.
  • Endian products offer a full unified threat management (UTM) suite complete with intrusion detection and intrusion prevention systems (IDS/IPS).
  • Hirschmann's Eagle ONE has a convenient user firewall feature that allows for temporary firewall access on a per user basis - each user can be granted access to a unique set of devices, based on need.
    Even though newer operating systems may still be supported, that doesn't mean you shouldn't consider how to secure your installation! The best security practices are proactive not reactive, so give INS a call today to discuss your security appliance needs!

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