3 Ways Solution Providers Can Help Block Another 'WannaCry'

The Risks Of Outdated Technology

Is outdated technology increasing your customers' risk of getting hit with a data breach?

Chances are it could, according to security ratings firm BitSight, which analyzed more than 35,000 companies around the world about the link between the usage of outdated computer operating systems and Internet browsers, technology-updates practices and exposure to data breaches.

A key finding? Over 2,000 organizations run more than half of their computers on outdated versions of an operating system, making them almost three times as likely to experience a publicly disclosed breach.

"I wouldn't be surprised if that … shouldn't be higher," said Michael Stolarczyk, vice president of sales and business development for cloud services at Duluth, Ga.-based solution provider VeriStor, No. 242 on CRN's Solution Provider 500 list.

BitSight said its research coincides with last month's "WannaCry" ransomware attack that affected more than 300,000 computers across a variety of industries. "Despite the availability of a critical patch months prior to the attack, many companies neglected to download the Microsoft update," BitSight said in a statement.

J. Wayne Abbott, owner of solution provider Cpak Technology Solutions, of LaGrange, Ga., also pointed to outdated software as a major culprit, along with not having the current security software, and not training end users on how to avoid clicking on the wrong links that can trigger a breach.

Click through to read three recommendations from the BitSight findings and what you can do to help clients.