Businesses reliant on the operating system ‘are opening the door to hackers after support ends’.
Windows XP still counted for 27% of all web traffic last month despite the imminent threat of hackers as Microsoft prepares to end support for the aged operating system.
Only Windows 7, at 49%, contributed to more internet traffic than XP in the month of March according to Net Applications, in spite of Microsoft’s well-publicised April 8 deadline after which it will no longer provide monthly security updates for the OS.
However, Windows 8 and 8.1 together add up to just 11.3% of internet usage, and IT management firm Spiceworks warned that businesses relying on XP in a week’s time run the risk of cyber criminals targeting their computers.
Its report, ‘Getting over XP’, surveyed 1,300 companies to find that 76% of IT pros still run XP on at least on device, even while 96% of them also run Windows 7 on their network.
The report read: "[End of life will expose] stadium-sized gaps in security on machines still on the OS. A slew of other threats are going to rear their ugly heads in the end of life era, but this time no cavalry is coming in the form of life-saving updates from Microsoft."
It also found that 74% of those moving to 7 are doing so for its similar user experience to XP, while 44% of those still using XP on their desktops have the 13-year-old OS installed on a quarter of such devices.
However, usage is declining.
In October last year, Net Applications records XP as counting for 31% of web traffic, then 29% in January this year.
But large organisations are still reliant on it. A Freedom of Information request from CBR to the Metropolitan Police revealed that 99% of the force’s 34,000 computers still run the operating system.