Microsoft End-of-Support for Windows XP is April 8, 2014. Despite recommendations for migration to Windows 7/8, estimates show that XP still powers one out of every four corporate PCs. Budget constraints, lack of application portability, and complex regulatory requirements are cited as reasons for not migrating by April 8. Some organizations simply cannot migrate. For critical systems still running XP, such as ATMs, SCADA and ICS systems, POS machines, and others, this means they will soon be sitting in the crosshairs of hackers.
In its recent report, Managing Windows XP After Microsoft Extended Support Ends, research firm Directions on Microsoft looked at challenges facing users of Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system when the company ends its support and the measures they need to take to mitigate risk. Analyst Wes Miller recommends isolation, limiting the systems that Windows XP can access, as a way of boosting protection to systems and data running on XP. He specifically mentions Unisys Stealth™ as a way to reduce the risk of running Windows XP on systems that cannot be migrated.
How can Unisys Stealth Help?
Stealth does not require application changes or expensive network re-configuring. Working on the principles of ‘isolate’ and ‘cloak’ Stealth prevents hackers or any unauthorized users inside and outside your enterprise from reaching — or even seeing — your endpoints, removing your infrastructure from harm’s way.
Isolate: Quarantining your XP machines from the rest of the enterprise reduces the risk of any vulnerabilities that may have been exploited from spreading throughout your entire network and enterprise.
Cloak: The best way to make something secure is to make it undetectable. Your devices and data should be invisible and inaccessible to anybody who doesn’t need to be part of them. By adopting the principle of “zero-trust” you can prevent and limit the impact of security breaches, accidental or malicious. With Stealth, criminals out there pinging away, looking for an interesting server or PC to penetrate, don’t even find a hardened target – they detect nothing at all. How can bad actors hack something they don’t even know exists?
Access: Instead of connecting all your departments to the enterprise network you need only to connect specific users to the crown jewels on a need-to-know basis. With Stealth, Windows XP users can be assigned to secure, trusted Communities of Interest, allowing them to access information and assets only on a need-to-know basis.
Stealth isolates and protects critical systems running XP, allowing you to maintain continuous, secure operations.