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Legacy Systems

Is your legacy software a cyber security risk?

07 Dec 2017 by Sadie Burgess

The risk that running legacy software can pose your business has now hit mainstream news. And whilst Microsoft quickly and effectively released a patch in response to the Wannacry attack that hit the NHS, among others, earlier this month – a valuable lesson has been given to the business world….

So the eyes of the media are focussing on legacy systems. Bespoke unsupported systems that are out of date and presenting their owners with significant cyber security risk as they don’t adhere to best practice or modern quality standards.

But don’t get confused about the key learning of these recent events. Whilst scaremongering stories are starting to appear suggesting it is the bespoke nature of the software which is the element that is a risk factor – fundamentally this is not the case.

Bespoke systems offer businesses an efficient, specific and totally tailored way to run their unique operations. As long as these systems are maintained and supported, they pose no more security risk to a business than an off-the-shelf solution. You could even say, that they are safer as cyber criminals rarely target company specific software looking to exploit any weaknesses in the system.

“If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it”

In fact, the issue is the on-going modernisation of the software solution. Which sadly is frequently overlooked by businesses, ironically, often because their system is performing so well. The “if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it” mentality is a completely understandable, often financially motivated stand-point. Until there is an issue, that is. And with the ever improving skill of cyber criminals the potential for a “security risk” to develop into “security issue” is a concerning reality for business owners.

Digital transformation has been a buzz phrase for a number of years, but with the transition of legacy software from “risk” to “issue”, businesses will have to reprioritise the modernisation of their systems. Patching and updates of operating systems are critical for performance and security, but these updates need to run in parallel with any software solution installed. Cloud solutions and open source web based technology, however, remove this dependency on operating systems giving businesses’ flexibility both with both the solutions they can achieve and providers they can work with.

We can help

We design bespoke software that can help your business run more efficiently and effectively – what’s more we can replicate the workflows and operational demands of your legacy software but offering a modern cloud based solution, compliant with best practice and security. We have been helping our clients for over 20 years, some who have been with us since the start, ensure their systems are optimal for their business requirements and both safe and secure.

Interested in talking to us about your unique situation? Have a chat with one of our specialist advisers on 020 3320 8777 or email software@forfront.com.