THE head of a Dewsbury IT company has warned that businesses face a shutdown and may have failed to plan properly for potential attacks by computer viruses.
Dean Spencer, managing director of Eitex IT Support, issued the warning as Microsoft prepare to withdraw support for their old Windows XP operating system on April 8.
The impact could cost industry millions and Mr Spencer believes that unlike the Millennium Bug, which had companies planning years in advance, those still reliant on Windows XP had failed to make proper contingencies.
“For more than 10 years thousands of local businesses have been reliant on the Windows XP software,” said the boss of the Boothroyd Lane firm, which provides IT support for hundreds of local businesses.
“Unlike the Millennium Bug, which had businesses investing millions to avoid catastrophe and potential shutdowns, many organisations have ignored the shutdown of XP as though it won’t make a difference,” he added. “It will to those still dependent on it post-April 8.
“Microsoft has been advising IT professionals for over 18 months now, but this hasn’t been communicated effectively to business owners and PC users.
“News channels will probably make a noise in April, when it is too late.
“Users that don’t upgrade by this period will face an onslaught of malware, viruses and security breaches on their systems.
“Allegedly many exploits have been found in Windows XP, but won’t be exposed and used by hackers until April 8, – when Microsoft will no longer be producing a fix.
“Astute business leaders can do something to prevent this and contact their IT support.”