The date when a product is no longer supported
“End of support” is essentially the expiry date of a product, for example, a phone, a computer or a program. Companies typically support their products with security updates and technical assistance for a limited period of time. A product reaches end of support when it no longer receives security updates and technical assistance.
The risk of a cyber security incident significantly increases when a product reaches end of support
Security updates protect against attacks from cybercriminals by adding new security features and fixing software ‘bugs’ (coding errors or vulnerabilities). When a product reaches end of support, it no longer receives security updates, leaving it vulnerable to attacks.
Don’t use products that have reached end of support. Upgrade them to ensure you receive the latest security updates.
Upgrading to a new product (such as a new device or operation system) can have the following benefits:
- Continued and greater security
- Continued technical support
- New features
- More likely to support newer software applications
- Usually faster and more efficient
Case Study 1
In 2017, the global “WannaCry” ransomware attack affected over 200,000 victims in 150 countries. The ransomware targeted computers running Microsoft Windows. Microsoft had previously released a security update to all supported versions of Windows that protected them from WannaCry. Versions of Windows that had reached end of support missed out on the security update, leaving them vulnerable to the attack.
Every product is different
Different products reach end of support at different times. Check the website of the company that made your product to find its end of support date.
If your IT is managed by an outsourced provider, talk to them about the end of support for your operating systems, devices or critical software.