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Sophos Antivirus ending support for Windows XP

Threat Level: Medium
Threat Type: Malware Risk
Advisory Date: 07/04/2019

Description

The current antivirus solution at the University of Regina is Sophos Endpoint Security and Control.  As of December 31, 2016 the vendor will no longer support this software on Windows XP.  As a result, virus signature updates will no longer be available and new malware will not be detected.  Inability to detect new malware is a large security risk.   

Additionally, the Windows XP operating system has not been supported by Microsoft since April 2014. This means that Microsoft will no longer be issuing any security updates for this operating system. 

Due to the lack of ongoing updates and support from both the security vendor, and the operating system vendor, it is strongly recommended that users retire Windows XP. 

If you continue to use Windows XP, your computer will become increasingly vulnerable to security risks and viruses.   Action is required to ensure Windows XP machines have an anti-virus solution in place past the end of support for Sophos Endpoint Security and Control.

There is no change in support for Windows 7, 8, and 10 and for those systems no action is required.  Windows XP users should undertake one of the following resolutions to address this risk.  Failure to do so will result in charges for any work IS might be required to perform on Windows XP systems or as a result of a Windows XP system being compromised.

Resolution

Windows XP users should complete one of the following actions before Dec. 31, 2016:

  1. If the Windows XP computer is no longer needed, please shut it down permanently.  Please contact Supply Management Services to securely dispose of the equipment.
  2. If the computer is still required, replace or upgrade to a supported operating system, either Windows 7 or Windows 10.
    • If you wish the replacement computer to be a managed machine, consider the Evergreen program.  Evergreens are fully supported and will be upgraded with current versions of software, including antivirus.  
    • If you wish to acquire an unmanaged replacement computer, Information Services has limited number of used Evergreen machines, with Windows 7, for purchase.  These sales are restricted to FOPAL accounts.
    • If you wish to upgrade your existing hardware to a new operating system, a license for the new operating system must be purchased.  This can be done via the Microsoft Software License Request form.
  3. If the XP machine is required to support specialist equipment with specific compatibility requirements and cannot be replaced, it is the responsibility of the computer owner to ensure a replacement antivirus solution is installed.  Anti-virus software with ongoing updates and support is required, although most anti-virus major vendors have ceased supporting Windows XP, or are planning to end support in 2017.
    • One tool with remaining Windows XP support is Kaspersky Anti-Virus. Note that any replacement anti-virus software is not supported by Information Services.
    • If a suitable antivirus suite is not installed, the Windows XP machine is required be disconnected from the University network.

Resources

Please contact the IT Support Centre if you have any questions or require assistance:
Email IT.Support@uregina.ca
Phone 306-585-4685
Webform https://www.uregina.ca/is/forms/ticket.html
In Person at ED 137 or Archer Library Commons

Additional Resources:

Sophos Endpoint Security and Control: Retirement calendar for supported platforms and operating systems 

Microsof: Windows XP support has ended