It is time to plan and upgrade those machines running Windows XP. After April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer be updating the software and/or patching security holes. Many in the IT industry believe that after that date, hackers will attempt to break the popular operating system which has been in use for twelve years.
Approximately one third of all Windows operating systems in use today are XP. Microsoft has already warned users that potential hackers could use security patches and updates for Windows 7/8 systems to scout for vulnerabilities in XP. I know several radio clients have automation systems and office networks that run primarily Windows XP. Microsoft may be overstating the risks of remaining on XP, then again, they may not be. This situation has been described in several trade magazines as “A ticking time bomb,” or equally dire: “Microsoft urges customers up upgrade or face ruin.”
In radio station infrastructure, very few systems are as vital as the audio storage and automation system. Without a functioning automation system, most stations would be dead in the water. If an automation system were to hacked and ruined completely, I do not think there are enough people left on most station’s payrolls to run an operation manually, even for a short period of time. I, for one, do not want my phone to start ringing on April 9th with a bunch of panicky managers talking about how unacceptable the situation is.