Windows 7 End of Life Could Leave Your Kiosks Vulnerable to Cyber Attack

A few months ago, we wrote about how the Windows 7 operating system from Microsoft is coming to its end of life (EOL)  on January 14, 2020.  While many people look at Windows as the operating system (OS) that their laptops and desktop computers run on, Windows is also used as the OS for many computer digital kiosks.

Windows EOL means that, while your kiosks will continue to run, they will no longer be getting extended support for Windows software or Windows 7 extended security updates from Microsoft to close vulnerabilities in the OS.  To many people this is an abstract problem, and the cost of security breaches are often considered hard to quantify.

At least, that is what cities like Baltimore thought before they got hit by a highly publicized ransomware attack earlier this year.  Hackers infected about 10,000 government computers with the RobbinHood malware, and demanded tens of thousands of dollars from the city to release the machines.  The city refused to pay, and the expected cost to fix the systems is projected to be over 10 million dollars by now.

Vulnerabilities of systems running Windows 7 are old news.  The National Security Association (NSA) has issued warnings earlier in the year about the “BlueKeep” (CVE-2019-0708) vulnerability that many of these ransomware attacks are based on.  These vulnerabilities are often resolved by Microsoft issuing a security patch to fix the flaw, which they often do quickly.

This brings us back to the problem facing kiosk owners early next year:  no more patches for Windows operating systems. If your computer kiosk is an older machine that is running Windows 7, you face the very real possibility of coming to work one morning in 2020 and finding your kiosks demanding bitcoins before they can be used.  For government organizations that allow their constituents to do things like make payments through self-service kiosks, this could be devastating.

As grim as this sounds, there is an easy kiosk solution:  Advanced Kiosks’ Window 7 Kiosk Refresh program.  It is the easiest way to get your interactive kiosk on to Windows 10, for a fraction of the cost of a ransomware attack. We have been running this program successfully for several months, and have received nothing but positive feedback from our clients.

Don’t let your kiosk software become the victim of cyberattack.  Defend them, and your business, by upgrading to Windows 10 before January 14, 2020.  Call us today to take the first step.

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