Saturday, April 20, 2019

Windows XP and ESF.

Windows XP reached the end of its supported life, world-wide, on April 8, 2014 and ESF is no exception. After that date, Microsoft Corporation will no longer produce fixes to issues with this software. This includes fixes to security-related problems which could leave PCs using Windows XP open to attack through a variety of avenues. This, ultimately, represents a possible threat to the integrity of ESF’s computing and information resources.

While many general-use PCs/laptops on Campus (categories 1 and 2 above) have already been upgraded to Windows 7 or replaced, some have not. CNS has been working for the last year to upgrade systems to Windows 7 where possible, but there is still much to do. When an upgrade is not possible, replacement has been suggested, but there are still situations where upgrade or replacement is not possible (category 3 above). 

The ESF solution:

In an effort to protect systems that are not upgradeable (categories 2 and 3 above) they will be moved from the public-access areas of the ESF Campus Network and placed onto a private network as CNS works to either 1) continue to upgrade, 2) eliminate, or 3) continue to protect them. 

While on this limited network, communication to, from and between these PCs will initially be limited to:
  1. Some file server services
  2. Some network printing services
  3. Antivirus updates
On-going Upgrades:

For everyone else, if your PC/laptop is under 5 years old and it is still using the Microsoft Windows XP Operating System, you may be able to have it upgraded to Windows 7 directly and at little or no cost. If you believe you are in this category, or have no idea, please contact the CNS Help Desk to schedule an appointment to have your device looked at. This way, we can help you determine what the best course of action might be for your situation before Microsoft support for Windows XP ends in April.

If you have already requested an upgrade, we have not forgotten and will be working through them between now and the end of April. We thank you for your patience.
Timing and potential consequences:

We have little time remaining before Microsoft will release the first round of patches that do not include Windows XP (this will happen on the 2nd Tuesday in May 2014). At that point, some see a rapid ramping up of attacks against XP as Microsoft itself provides hints as to what vulnerabilities are open for exploitation.