Legacy IT Infrastructure and the Risks From Viruses and Cyber Threats

By Mark Watson|3 October 2018

“Absolute carnage” and “an embarrassment” is how passengers at London Gatwick airport described the impact of an IT failure on flight information screens early this year. Airport staff were reduced to updating passengers using a whiteboard, walkie-talkies and loudspeakers.

During this unexpected chaos in August several passengers missed flights. Not a great start to people’s holidays.

IT failures can cause inconvenience, or they can have far more serious implications. As the NHS found out, during the WannaCrypt ransomware attack in 2017, when hundreds of GPs surgeries had to pay to recover patient records. Several large manufacturers, including Renault and Nissan halted production until a solution was found. Problems with legacy IT infrastructure makes it easier for viruses and other cyber threats to breach defences and cause serious damage and disruption. 

Risks Of Running On Legacy Systems

Vulnerability and a higher chance of being impacted by cyber threats is one of the most serious risks of running your organisation on legacy infrastructure. But that isn’t the only problem. 

Operating out-of-date hardware and software makes it harder to grow. Staff can’t work remotely or collaborate as easily when your software is server-based instead of cloud-based. Most staff are comfortable with cloud-based software, apps and email platforms; failing to give them access to these services makes working remotely more difficult, if not impossible (also read our post 'Are your employees working remotely safely.')

Customers increasingly expect automated, software-based touch points, whenever there is a process that would make interacting with your business easier for them. In both cases, using outdated legacy systems can have a negative impact on productivity, revenue, and even how your brand is perceived. Competitors who've already taken a digital leap forward are going to appear more attractive, and less vulnerable to cyber attacks and viruses.

As technology ages, it also becomes more difficult to ensure it stays operational. Software and hardware vendors reduce or eliminate support for older products over time. Patches and upgrades only last if a product is supported. Once that has gone, long-term failure or degradation is almost inevitable. IT companies and professionals can only do what they can to maintain out-of-date systems and moderate IT Risks.

Companies in this position need to consider an upgrade. Cloud solutions, or a hybrid of cloud and in-house technology is the way forward most organisations are taking. Here’s why:

Benefits Of Migrating To The Cloud

  • More secure. Modern software benefits from continuous security updates, keeping one step ahead of cyber threats, viruses and hackers. You run far fewer risks when using software that continues to receive vendor support; plus you've got more options if anything goes wrong.
  • Easier to scale. Whether you need cloud storage or dozens of phone lines, everything you source through software vendors can be scaled up and down according to business needs. You won’t be fixed into a contract that doesn't allow flexibility.
  • Save money. With legacy software and hardware, the cost of upkeep, of buying the kit itself, was a capital expense. Often an expensive one. Thankfully, with modern software comes the benefits of modern pricing. All the hardware and maintenance costs and responsibilities are on the vendor, not your organisation. All you need to budget for is the subscription, which can go up or down depending on what you need and/or pay for that month.

Alongside knowing your data, sensitive documents and customers’ details are secure, cloud-based software is making work easier and more efficient for millions of companies across the world. Is it time you made the digital leap? 

If you think it’s time to migrate to the cloud and would like to discuss this in more detail with a cloud specialist, please get in touch.

You may also like to download our Enterprise Cloud Strategy document that will help you understand how to successful implement digital transformation.

Further Information

Enterprise Cloud Strategy

Guidance for enterprises looking for proven methods to take their application portfolio to the cloud


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