The forth coming death of the 13-year long Windows XP regime has dealt a severe blow to users, enterprises and employees alike. Launched in 2001, Windows XP is one the most widely adopted operating systems by Microsoft. And as a savage deadline looms over its very existence, banks are hurrying to upgrade their ATMs to a different operating system.
In an interview with USA Today, Gerry Ergan, senior director of product management for Security Company Symantec stated that using Windows XP operating system after April 8th, would be tantamount to turning your house security system on but leaving the doors and windows open.
With over 30% market share of Windows XP, that rounds off to approximately 500 million PCs, the vulnerabilities and security threats that these PCs would be subjected to is unsettling. Over 95% of ATMs of American Bank that operate on Windows XP would be exposed to malicious cyber-attacks.
However, replacing the popular OS is a daunting task. In the United States alone, there’re over 2,00,000 ATMs that run on Windows XP. The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), responsible for overseeing the compliance with safety standards, has already shown that all ATMs based on Windows XP need to be updated. Replacing each with a different OS would enormously high costs and labor support. In a technical turmoil like this, the Linux operating system has come to the banker’s rescue. Most banks are now looking for a shift to Linux after Windows XP end of Support.
In a desperate bid to protect their ATMs, banks are looking for a non-Windows operating system to put at line the hardware and software upgrades and keep them protected from external invasions. In such a scenario, Linux promises to offer protection in the midst of a security crisis. Linux is one of the oldest operating system, without any licensing fee and spares the user the task of regularly updating antivirus software. Also, it’s an open source operating system and can easily get numerous patches released to look into widespread virus release.
Tremendous flexibility and better software choices that Linux offers are some other added advantages. Many developers claim that Linux is scaled down, and is less buggy. The machines run smoother with lesser hassles on a Linux OS than on a Windows PC.
The Windows regime will breathe its last breath on April. And ATMs are hurriedly trying to make resorts before they get robbed of everything they own, security the most.