Support for Windows XP ended over a year ago. By any standard, Windows XP ranks as one of the most influential versions of Windows ever, thanks to its longevity and widespread adoption by enterprises around the world. However, the end of support should have served as a clear signpost to users and organizations to immediately upgrade to newer systems.
A year later, remarkably, Windows XP isn’t quite dead yet. Its exact share can be debated. Net Market Share data suggests its share as of March 2015 is at around 17%. StatCounter has this figure at over 11%. Analytics data from US government websites can be used to get an estimate as well; this data places XP market share at just under 5%.
The risks to Windows XP have not gone away, either. A year’s worth of vulnerabilities that may affect Windows XP have not been patched—only once did Microsoft publicly release a patch for a Windows XP zero-day vulnerability. In addition, various security upgrades for later versions of Windows have not been retrofitted to Windows XP: a good example is Control Flow Guard, which is only available in Windows 8.1 Update 3 (from November 2014) and in Windows 10 (currently in Technical Preview).
Support for Windows Server 2003 to end in July
In just under three months, however, IT administrators will have to do the upgrade dance again. Windows Server 2003’s support will end in July this year. A survey of IT professionals by Spiceworks outlined the scale of the issue. 61% of organizations still have at least one instance of Server 2003 running; and only 15% of respondents indicated that their organizations had completed migration. Of those who plan to have some Server 2003 systems active even after the end of support, almost everyone (85%) indicated that security risks were a concern.
As with Windows XP, we highly recommend that organizations prepare and implement migration plans—if they haven’t already. The potential risks here are even greater, considering servers are the systems at risk.
Available solutions and recommendations
Users running unpatched systems are advised to enable Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) on their Windows systems. EMET is a free tool by Microsoft designed to protect Windows systems even before new and undiscovered threats.
Additionally, users who cannot upgrade to newer Windows versions are still protected against threats with our security solutions. Trend Micro Deep Security and Vulnerability Protection are both able to detect threats before they reach user systems. Trend Micro Endpoint Application Control can also lock down systems by preventing unwanted and unknown applications and processes from running.
Deep Security will support Windows XP, Windows 2000 Server, and Windows 2003 until 2020. In addition, our endpoint products will continue to be supported for these older Windows versions until 2018.
Updated on June 24, 2016 7:45 AM PDT: Modified to clarify length of support for Windows XP, Windows 2000 Server, and Windows 2003.
Updated on June 15, 2017 10:00 PM PDT to reflect current policies extending the end of support for certain Trend Micro products to 2020.