If all goes according to plan, today will be the last Patch Tuesday for Windows XP and Office 2003. And while rumours still abound that Microsoft will back down and offer a low cost support option, I’m not holding my breath.
However, there are still some legitimate reasons why you may still have Windows XP running in your environment. There may be a critical application that won’t run on anything other than XP and the software vendor has stopped making updates or supporting the version you need. It could be that the cost outweighs the risk for you and so you’ve made a business decision to wait or only partially migrate. Whatever the reason, if you’ve still got Windows XP in your environment, here are 5 things you need to do:
- Ensure that both Windows XP and Office 2003 (if not needed, uninstall) are fully patched. While you’re at it, uninstall any applications that aren’t absolutely required.
- Use a browser other than Internet Explorer. IE8 is the last version of Internet Explorer to work on XP and while it is scheduled to receive extended support until 2020, the latest versions Chrome and Firefox work on XP with SP3 and are more up to date.
- Disconnect the network. If you don’t need to connect to the Internet, then don’t. If you don’t need to connect to other devices or computers on the local network, remove the network cable all together.
- Use a firewall. If you must connect to a network, ensure there is a firewall in front of your XP machine that only allows specific traffic from known IP addresses.
- Ensure anti-malware software is installed and kept up to date.