Posted April 08, 2014 by FreedomPay

What Does the End of Microsoft Support for Windows XP Mean for You?

History buffs know that D-Day occurred on June 6, 1944, but another D-Day of sorts will occur on April 8.

That’s the day when Microsoft will end support for its 13-year-old Windows XP operating system – the software that still runs about one in three computers, not to mention about 95 percent of the world’s ATMs, including 420,000 in the United States.  NCR, the  world’s largest supplier of ATMs, estimates that just 20-30 percent will be fixed by the deadline.

While the end of support doesn’t mean any computer using Windows XP will stop working, it does mean your XP-based POS systems will no longer be PCI compliant.

For one thing, if any problems pop up, you’re on your own. And more importantly, since there will be no security updates or patches, your risk level increases. Ironically, since Microsoft will still issue updates to Windows 7 and 8 – both of which have a similar blueprint as XP – it will unintentionally point out XP weaknesses to hackers.

That begs the question: What to do?

There are three main options.

• Stick with XP, which means your system is immediately out of compliance with PCI. That’s incredibly risky, given the ever-increasing number of prominent companies hacked, especially since hackers like to choose easy targets. Without XP support, that means you.

• The nuclear version of the answer is simple (and expensive) – a complete location-wide removal and replacement of the POS operating system. We don’t have to tell you how much that’s likely to cost.

• Leverage a PCI-certified point-to-point (P2PE) encryption solution, putting your POS out of scope so you can keep running XP and stay in compliance while deciding the path for your operating system upgrade.

With P2PE technology, data is encrypted from the moment of swipe all the way through the payment processor; that eliminates clear-text account data from the merchant environment. This level of hardware-to-hardware encryption virtually eradicates the risk of hackers to gaining access to useable consumer financial information.

Of course, FreedomPay is at the forefront in payment security technology.

Our cloud-based FreedomPay Commerce Platform™  solution provides the most advanced protection against breaches and also includes EMV technology ensuring that merchants are prepared for pending EMV requirements.

The FreedomPay Commerce Platform also is designed as a one-stop solution for merchants who want the capability to expand their commerce options today or in the future. The platform is modular and expandable and, through its deployment, customers can easily tap FreedomPay’s portfolio of services, such as mobile payments, incentive programs, robust reporting and analytics.

Like it or not, IT has to be a priority for every business these days. There’s too much on the line financially to think otherwise.