We know that replacing your company’s hardware—a whole computer, CPUs, drives, RAMs, etc.—can be expensive and time-consuming. But with the lightning-quick pace of technology advancements, old hardware has become a cybersecurity problem: legacy systems can double your risk of a data breach.
You wouldn’t feel safe driving a car that needed an oil change 5 years ago and has a tire that’s about to blow. It’s the same with your hardware security. Take a look at some of the risks old hardware poses.
4 Ways a Legacy System Can Hurt Cybersecurity
We’re not suggesting that you splurge on every new tech invention. But, after decades in cybersecurity, we’ve noticed some trends that could hurt your business in the long run.
1. They Can’t Keep Up with Modern Threats
We all know that the world of cybersecurity is constantly changing and evolving. New threats are appearing every day, and older hardware simply can’t keep up. This leaves your company vulnerable to sophisticated attacks that could have been easily avoided with newer, more secure hardware.
And with really old systems, it’s getting hard to find IT technicians who understand how they work and can help you secure them or fix them when broken, leaving your data extremely vulnerable.
2. They’re More Prone to Cyberattacks
You might hear this a lot, but why is it the case? As hardware gets older, manufacturers stop releasing updates and security patches, and hardware security is compromised. Legacy systems often aren’t compatible with modern digital tools, like certain cloud solutions that can keep your data more secure.
When hackers see that you’re working with older hardware, it’s easier for them to find the vulnerabilities and wiggle their way past your security.
3. They’re Not Covered by Cyber Insurance
Legacy equipment is kind of like health insurance’s “pre-existing condition” clause. You have to already have sufficient security protocols in place to qualify for insurance, so if your systems are at risk, an insurance provider isn’t going to offer their help.
If you do experience a data breach, you’ll have to pay for the damages out of pocket. That could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage and your business could be at risk of not getting back on its feet.
4. They’re Not Compatible with Newer Equipment
As time goes on, newer equipment and software are released that are not compatible with older hardware. This can be a major problem if you’re trying to implement new security measures or update your system.
For example, in August 2021, Microsoft announced that unsupported PCs would not be able to receive Windows updates and some security upgrades would even be withheld. So, if your hardware isn’t able to run updated software, your employees and customers are going to experience slower performance and more crashes.
How to Secure Your Legacy Systems
Now that we’ve gone over some of the risks associated with using old hardware and hardware security, you might be wondering what you can do to protect your business. Here are a few tips:
Keep Your Software Updated
One way to help mitigate some of the risks is to ensure that your software is always up-to-date. When new security patches are released, install them right away. This will help close any potential vulnerabilities in your system and make it more difficult for hackers to get in.
Train Your Employees on Cybersecurity Protocols
No matter how good your system is, it’s only as good as the people using it. If your employees aren’t properly trained on cybersecurity protocols, they could be putting your whole business at risk.
Make sure you have a comprehensive training program in place that covers everything from password security to phishing scams. And, be sure to refresh your employees on these protocols on a regular basis.
Implement Multi-Factor Authentication
One of the best ways to secure your system is to implement multi-factor authentication (MFA). This means that, in addition to a password, your employees will need to use another form of authentication, like a code sent to their phone or a fingerprint scan.
This may seem like a hassle, but it’s a great way to add an extra layer of security to your system and make it more difficult for hackers to gain access.
Work with a Managed IT Service Provider to Find Affordable Upgrades
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to securing and updating your legacy systems, working with a managed IT service provider is a great option. They can help you assess your current security measures, make recommendations for improvements, and help you feel confident in your investment.
AIS Can Improve Your Cybersecurity Posture
If you’re still using legacy hardware, it’s time to upgrade. Newer hardware is more secure and will help keep your company safe from cyberattacks. Not to mention, it will save you money in the long run.
We’d love to help you find the right equipment and programs for maximum security and efficiency! Fill out a request form on our site or call to learn more about our services and how we can help you secure your data.