FEATURE: Widespread Security Risks due to XP Support Retirement

A research note issued by Softchoice highlights widespread security implications as Microsoft ends support for Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2).

Windows is ending support for XP SP2Softchoice’s analysis of 278,498 corporate and public sector PCs reveals that almost half are still running Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2. Support for this service pack, including security updates, officially ends on July 13th 2010. It is estimated that nearly eight out of every 10 organizations have a high enough prevalence of SP2 in their environment to warrant immediate action to update their systems. Failing to do so could create unnecessary security risks as hackers continue to look for vulnerabilities knowing that software updates will no longer be forthcoming from Microsoft.

Softchoice’s assessment services team was surprised by the number of people who have not yet deployed Service Pack 3 Forty-five percent of the machines we looked at are still running SP2. If organizations aren’t already on top of this they should be moving quickly to update their systems.

The data used in the analysis was collected between January and June of 2010. The timeliness of this snapshot lends a heightened sense of urgency given the limited timeframe with which organizations have to act before support for Service Pack 2 ends. While offered free of charge by Microsoft, the work involved in deploying Windows SP3 is not insignificant for larger organizations or those without systems management technology in place.

The sample consists of a total of 117 unique organizations representing a wide range of industries from across the United States and Canada, including financial, health care, manufacturing and education.

The data collection was made possible as a result of Softchoice’s award-winning IT assessment services. To provide comprehensive IT asset management services, including licensing gap analysis, hardware lifecycle and IT policy management, Softchoice receives detailed IT inventory data from customer environments. A portion of this data was analyzed in aggregate to produce the findings pertaining to prevalence of Windows XP Service Pack 2 among North American organizations.

View the Research Note

>> http://www.softchoice.com/research

Related Posts

About Tobin Dalrymple

Tobin Dalrymple is a longtime Softchoice contributor and the IEF program writer living in Montreal.