5 Security Steps to Take Before Software or Hardware Expire

When software or hardware products reaches its End-of-Life (EoL) or End-of-Service (EoS), it’s no longer supported by the manufacturer. This can be a cause of concern for businesses like yours because unsupported software or hardware have no routine security measures or support from the manufacturer. 

The good news is that there are steps you can take to mitigate the risks that come with EoL or EoS software and hardware and protect your business. 

Security Steps

Although there may be a sufficiently large list of practical steps, the five most impactful ones are:

Prioritize security

Businesses owners need to prioritize security immediately after identifying EoL or EoS software and hardware.  It is only a matter of time before internet criminals who are looking for expired technology, will find it.  The sooner your business replaces or upgrades your technology to remove the vulnerability the better.  Compliance Specialists is ready to assist the smallest U.S. businesses to return to compliance with data security and privacy laws.  Our Solid Foundation Compliance Programs are designed for your business.  We also have the tools needed to monitor and alert on suspicious activity as well as other tools to keep your data safe. 

Written Data Security Plan

Data security laws and other industry standards require a security plan that is written.  Company policies bring awareness and guide employees to use company-wide secure password managing software, two-factor authentication, enforce security awareness training and improve the company security against internet criminal attacks.  A Written Data Security Plan is one of 

The 19 Essential Elements in True Small Business Data Security™.  

Monitor Productivity

As your software or hardware nears the EoL or EoS, it’s important to monitor its productivity so that your business doesn’t suffer. Here are a few things you can do to minimize any negative impact on your business:

  • Keep track of the software or hardware performance. This will help you identify if any issues escalate. If employees are reporting “the system is slow”, review what is happening with that system. 
  • Ensure employees who use software or hardware that is nearing EoL or EoS are aware of its status. This will help them be more receptive if there are any problems. 

Have a contingency plan in case the software or hardware completely fails. This will help you avoid any major disruptions to your business.  Replacing your aging technology before it’s EoL or EoS is a smart way to avoid this issue altogether. Poor performance impacts productivity and costs your business money.

Evaluate long-term needs

When planning, consider the long-term viability of your essential systems. What are your objectives, and which systems are crucial to achieving them?  How secure are these systems, and how can the security be improved? Ask yourself if this system is being backed up, and how long can your business survive if this system was down?  This will allow you to prioritize the most important systems and assist you with your business Disaster Recovery Plan. A Disaster Recovery Plan is one of The 19 Essential Elements in True Small Business Data Security™.  

Take these factors into account to make the best decision for your business, ensuring you have the right systems securely in place to support your goals. “Protecting You to Grow” is how Compliance Specialists serves you best. 

Test compatibility before migration

The EoL or EoS date for a system can be months or years in the future; however, planning for the migration should begin well before that date. By doing so, you can avoid any disruptions that may occur during the migration process.

Testing compatibility is one of the first steps in migrating to a new system. You must ensure all your data and applications can be transferred to the new system. Setting up a test environment and running some tests is the best way to accomplish this.

You can download our infographic checklist “What Does End of Support Mean for Your Business?”  by clicking here.

Protect Your Business Now

Remember, “Maintaining Software and Hardware to Current Standards” is one of 

The 19 Essential Elements in True Small Business Data Security™.  

It must be clear by now that EoL or EoS software and hardware is risky for your business. Implementing all the security steps listed above to avoid these risks can be overwhelming if you don’t have assistance. Compliance Specialists helps the smallest U.S. businesses protect themselves from the dangers of EoL or EoS software and hardware. Contact us to get started today.