Potential Vulnerabilities

We were returning from a meeting this week and stopped off at a service station to fuel up and grab a coffee. This service station had several food courts, so we also grabbed a sandwich. Whilst in the queue we noticed that one of the screens for a major food chain was not displaying the menu. Furthermore, it displayed a sign stating, ‘ Your Windows 7 PC is out of support’.

The operating system (OS) ‘Windows 7’ was released in 2009, and officially the support from Microsoft ended in Jan 2020. When a company withdraws support for a version of their OS, the OS stops receiving updates, exposing the software to numerous risks and threats. Systems that do not get regular security patches are more vulnerable to attack. They can easily be breached by ransomware or malware, causing loss of valuable data and, sometimes, your PC, it can also put the integrity of the entire organisation at risk

In the case of the food chain computer there could be an argument that this computer being used to run the menus screens is standalone, may be not connected to the Internet or does not hold sensitive information. However, it could pose serious issues to the rest of the company and make them a target. If you’re an attacker, you may think, if they’re running a Windows 7 OS, what about the rest of their infrastructure?

Knowing your infrastructure and your assets is crucial to understanding how to protect your data. Basic foundations are vital to maturing your cyber security curve and lowering the risk of a security breach. Key advice, ensure your OS is in date and fully supported.

Have a great weekend!

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