The recent WannaCry ransomware attack that has taken the world by storm may have a silver lining. Most importantly, it has highlighted the importance of having reliable backups in place and ensuring that your systems and antivirus programs are updated regularly. While much of the burden certainly does fall on businesses and end users, software companies like Microsoft, who still dominate the operating system landscape share a great deal of this responsibility as well.
So What Can Microsoft Do?
As more and more people look to the internet to make purchasing decisions, Microsoft is increasingly looking at ways to deliver additional value to their customers through cloud-based services. Many of the services or applications that historically could only be used with the Windows operating system, such as Outlook, Word, and Excel are now offered as Web applications that can be used on any device, with any operating system. One of the big advantages cloud brings in terms of security are access to current versions and in some cases, automatic updates. With the Microsoft Office 365 service, consumers and businesses alike can pay an affordable monthly fee to obtain ongoing access to the latest versions of these tools. This in turn, creates a more secure environment as users are not left behind, using outdated, unsupported, or unpatched versions of this popular suite of tools.
Security With Windows 10
With Windows specifically, Microsoft is leveraging heavily the advantages of the internet to reach more customers and provide them with the quick availability of the Windows operating system through this distribution channel. In particular, Microsoft wanted to make upgrades to this popular operating system very easy and more importantly, automatic.
With Microsoft’s newest installment of the Windows Operating System (Windows 10) Microsoft has stated they will begin a process of continuous updates that will effectively eliminate the historical concept of next versions. This will effectively make the Windows operating system a service as opposed to a packaged product, which it has been since the very beginning.
What this will mean for their business partnerships and how the software is purchased and deployed with hardware manufacturers ongoing is difficult to predict. What is clear, is that Microsoft wants to keep everyone on consistent versions of their operating system, eliminating the days of supporting older systems that have fallen out of mainstream support.
This will ultimately mean that Microsoft will eventually be free of the need to employ countless staffers with the responsibility to update old operating systems and can instead focus on the future. While there are those businesses who will balk at the idea of automatic updates, we have already lived through the alternative.
The latest threat we’ve seen with the WannaCry ransomware virus has only highlighted the need to take a more proactive role in keeping systems patched and updated.
IT support departments typically have too many other tasks to keep up with and are busy putting out fires to keep patches and consistently monitored and up-to-date. This challenge is obviously wide-spread as evident by how successful the WannaCry ransomware virus was in penetrating businesses the world over.
More businesses need to take heed of this latest threat and realize that these types of attacks will continue to grow in their sophistication and their effectiveness. Businesses need to make this a priority and devote the necessary budget and resources to building an effective business continuity and disaster recovery program. This is the only way to ensure that when, not if, the time comes, they are poised to handle any threat that comes their way.
If you need help securing your environment and want a local Indianapolis IT support partner, call Envisionet today for a free security assessment.