PCI DSS Compliance Blog: Windows XP Becomes Obsolete in 2014—What Then?

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04/01/2013

Windows XP Becomes Obsolete in 2014—What Then?

In a sense, April 8, 2014 will mark the end of an era—this is the date when Microsoft will cease providing support for its perennially popular Windows XP operating system.  Since its launch way back in 2001, XP has proven surprisingly durable, managing to retain a large portion of the market share even after subsequent operating systems (e.g., Vista) arrived on the scene.   But Microsoft is finally bringing down the curtain on XP; after April 2014, the company will stop providing security patches, updates, and related support services. 

What will this mean for the substantial number of merchants that still rely on XP?  Unfortunately, it will be necessary for them to make the leap to a newer operating system.  Though XP will continue to operate after its end-of-life date, the termination of support services makes the system vulnerable to new viruses and other cyberthreats that may arise.  Consequently, merchants that utilize XP will fall out of compliance with PCI DSS Requirement 6.1, which obliges businesses to ensure the safety of their payment processing systems by installing “the latest vendor-supplied security patches.”  These merchants, therefore, must switch to a supported operating system by April 2014.

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