Many companies investigate the cause of cyber security breaches.  The annual Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report, along with reports from Symantec, Cisco, Microsoft, and government agencies all focus on analyzing the root cause of computer security breaches.

These reports typically find various factors, such as human error, phishing, social engineering, application vulnerabilities, and outdated systems, create serious system exposures.

Consistently, the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report highlights outdated and unsupported systems as a significant risk factor. Based on our review of the data, it is the root cause of more than thirty percent of serious breaches. The report highlights that a large portion of breaches exploit known application or operating system vulnerabilities for which a patch was available but not applied. Unsupported systems, by their nature, don’t get security patches, and that increases risk. In addition, the source code for older operating systems is readily available and is constantly analyzed for vulnerabilities that security hackers can exploit.

So, what is the solution?  At VirtaMove we recommend that the “Best First Move” is to use a rule-based AI system to migrate older applications to a modern, secure operating system.

Moving older apps from unsupported operating systems to modern, secure servers running supported operating systems improves your cyber security posture in several ways:

  • Security Updates and Patches: Modern, supported operating systems receive regular security updates and patches. These updates address known vulnerabilities, making the systems less susceptible to exploitation by attackers. Regular security updates reduce the possible attack surface.
  • Advanced Security Features: Newer operating systems come with enhanced security features and much better default configurations. These can include improved firewall capabilities, advanced intrusion detection systems and more sophisticated user access controls.
  • Compliance and Standards: Many regulatory standards require that systems be kept up to date to ensure data protection. Moving to a supported operating system helps in meeting these compliance requirements.
  • Better Performance and Stability: Modern operating systems not only offer better security but also improved performance and stability. This can lead to more efficient operations and less downtime, indirectly contributing to better security.
  • Vendor Support: In case of security incidents, having OS vendor support can be critical. Unsupported systems lack this, leaving organizations on their own to deal with any vulnerabilities or breaches.
  • Compatibility with Latest Security Tools: Newer operating systems are compatible with the latest cyber security tools and software. These tools utilize advanced techniques like machine learning and artificial intelligence to detect and respond to threats.
  • Long-term Cost Savings: While upgrading operating systems requires a modest investment, in the long term, it leads to cost savings by avoiding breaches, reducing downtime, and improving operational efficiency.

Moving Windows and Linux apps to a modern, supported operating system enhances security by leveraging the latest updates, features and vendor support, making it a fundamental step in strengthening cyber security defenses. Your legacy applications will still have technical debt. It doesn’t mean all your security work is done; older applications should be assessed for cross site scripting or other legacy security vulnerabilities. Those upgrades and other app enhancements are more easily completed on modern operating systems using available software tools.

Call us, get a demo, and learn more about why VirtaMove thinks that moving production apps to a modern supported operating system is your “Best First Move” in cybersecurity. It provides a practical first step in the management of your legacy application portfolio.