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Many Windows XP users were unhappy with the release of Windows Vista, and refused to upgrade. New OS versions since Vista have actually taken customers’ concerns into account, but this hasn’t changed the fact that most devices are still running Windows XP. Why exactly is this an issue? Microsoft has not provided support for XP since April 2014.

Between 7 and 10 percent of all the computers in use today are vulnerable to potential security attacks, because their device is still running XP. Estimates show that Windows XP is the third most popular operating system today, running on 10.9% of all personal computers. XP is third behind Windows 7 with 51.9% of the market and Windows 10 with 14.2% of the market. Statistics show that XP is in use more than Windows 8 and Mac OS X.

So why are these numbers important to IT security?

As mentioned above Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP, and they haven’t for 2 years, meaning that XP users aren’t receiving any security updates or patches. This also means there are no options to download online technical updates, or any other type of support. This lack of security puts business in a tight spot, and make them extremely vulnerable to security breaches. One of the main reasons business owners state for not upgrading their devices is that they don’t believe they are targets for security issues, while others say it’s an expensive upgrade that isn’t urgent enough to warrant an immediate response. But what many don’t realize is that upgrading their devices should be an urgent matter, as many of their software programs running on XP might not be supported either, leaving them even more open to security attacks.

There are many different reasons why you should be upgrading your devices, but the security of your business should be at the top of the list.