How Outdated Technology Increases the Risk of Cyber Attacks

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In the digital age, where technological advancements shape our daily lives and drive global innovation, the specter of cyber threats looms larger than ever. As organizations strive to remain competitive and meet the demands of an increasingly interconnected world, the importance of cybersecurity cannot be overstated. However, amidst the pursuit of cutting-edge solutions and digital transformation, a critical vulnerability often goes overlooked: outdated technology.

In this article, we’ll delve into the intricate relationship between outdated technology and the heightened risk of cyber attacks. We’ll also show how clinging to legacy systems and infrastructure exposes organizations to a myriad of threats, from ransomware attacks to data breaches, jeopardizing not only sensitive information but also the very foundation of trust upon which modern societies rely.

Through insights from industry experts and real-world examples, we’ll uncover the pressing need for organizations to modernize their technology infrastructure and implement robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard against evolving cyber threats.

While the allure of cutting-edge solutions is undeniable, the reluctance or inability to upgrade legacy systems poses a grave risk. There is a critical connection between outdated technology and the increased susceptibility to cyber threats. Obsolete software and aging infrastructure can inadvertently invite malicious actors into the heart of sensitive networks, jeopardizing not only data integrity but also the very foundation of trust for your clients.

Why Infrastructure Is A Common Target For Cyberattacks

In excerpts from an article by Forbes, they wrote, “For infrastructure and transportation agencies, outdated software and legacy systems are some of the most significant factors that leave crucial data and information susceptible to destructive security attacks. As a result, it’s critical agencies and DOTs reevaluate their current technology to help future-proof infrastructure and prevent cyberattacks from impeding upcoming projects, exposing vulnerable information, and shutting down core services and essential infrastructure.

Cybercriminals target infrastructure organizations because owners are often slow to upgrade software, leaving information vulnerable and more easily accessible to outside sources. Many government agencies’ legacy systems are between 8 to 51 years old and do not integrate with other technology solutions. This presents significant problems; most legacy systems have not been updated with current security measures to efficiently address threats from modern ransomware, making it easier for hackers to gain access.

Moving to modernized systems requires a great deal of time and resources. Due to this investment, many organizations continue working with their outdated technology stack to avoid immediate costs and disruption. However, as cyberattacks continue to rise, technology modernization is proving to be a major priority for the infrastructure industry.

How Agencies And DOTs Can Prevent & Manage Cyber Threats

To mitigate the risks of cyberattacks, agencies and DOTs must move away from legacy systems to modern cloud-based technology. By adopting open, secure, cloud-based platforms, agencies can create a modular system that seamlessly integrates various technologies and prevents a single point of failure where just one cyberattack can detrimentally impact an organization.

With a modular approach to technology, if one system is affected, it can be shut down without impacting the other solutions, reducing the overall impact of an attack and enabling continued access to other platforms.

Additionally, by using a modular system versus a legacy system, organizations can adopt and integrate flexible applications and platforms that offer features most suitable for their business. As a result, agencies and DOTs are better equipped to accelerate innovation and progress while ensuring their information isn’t vulnerable to cybercriminals. Lastly, modularity enables organizations to future-proof their systems by upgrading bite-sized pieces of the system rather than making large, wholesale changes to monolithic software installations.

Digital Technology Is The Future

According to Deloitte, about 76% of global infrastructure leaders expect a greater focus on data security over the next three years. Additionally, 70% of international infrastructure organizations are already making a shift toward digital infrastructure investments that include cloud computing and cybersecurity technology, both of which help upgrade and protect vulnerable systems susceptible to cyberattacks.

Agencies and DOTs must reevaluate their legacy systems now, especially as cyberattacks continue to increase. By adopting modernized technology, organizations can protect vital data and information from malicious cyberattacks and prevent detrimental setbacks and costly repercussions to infrastructure projects and daily life.”

Why Update Your Organization’s Technology?

In excerpts from an article by elevITy, they wrote, “The nation was warned about the biggest cybersecurity threats for 2023. The top five threats:

  • Remote workforce security
  • Phishing and social engineering
  • Ransomware
  • Cloud Security
  • Internet of Things (IoT) security

Unfortunately, these are not uncommon risks for businesses and individuals alike. In such a connected world — and with remote work becoming more prevalent in the post-pandemic era — society is more vulnerable to the actions of cybercriminals than it’s ever been.

Businesses today have hundreds of applications installed and connected to their networks that could be security risks. Some of these applications may not even be supported or used by the organization, but are quietly running in the background. That’s an easy backdoor for cybercriminals.

Even the hardware itself could be increasing your risk of a cyberattack. If your desktop computers, laptops and other devices are getting old, they’re less capable of running current cybersecurity applications.

Let’s take a closer look at the issues caused by outdated apps, operating systems and hardware — and how to close these security holes.

End-of-Life Operating Systems & Software

When an operating system (OS) comes to the end of its lifecycle, it means that no more updates will be issued by the vendor — including patches for critical security flaws. These “stale” or “dead” systems are potential liabilities and growing concerns for exploits. The safety net, the helping hand, the crucial system fixes — they’re all gone, and you’re on your own.

It’s said that damage from the infamous ransomware WannaCry attack of 2017, which affected thousands of National Health Service hospitals in the UK, could have been avoided with updated software.

What’s more, it’s estimated that 70% – 80% of the top 10 malware detected by a company could be avoided if their technology was updated correctly.

Like operating systems, certain software or applications see support sunsets after a certain time. Still, many people still work with Microsoft Office 2003 applications, for example, even though it reached end-of-support in April 2014.

Since Office is a productivity tool suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook), it may seem unrelated to overall system security. But it can still open vulnerabilities to your whole network.

The Security Threat of Mobile Apps

Mobile devices present an equally dangerous threat to a business environment. Mobile phone and tablet manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony, Google and HTC only provide support and security patching to a phone’s OS for so long.

A vulnerable phone could allow full access to everything that’s on it, including personal and company emails, contact information, and banking details. It’s even possible that phone calls could be recorded.

Outdated IT Hardware Concerns

Computers and other devices that are several years old aren’t always keeping up with the advances in technology. Older hardware lacks the processing power or storage to run modern software such as encryption, network monitoring, malware detection, and so on.

Upgrading to more up-to-date desktop computers, laptops, and other devices as needed can ensure they’re capable of giving you all the advantages of current cybersecurity measures.

Fixing IT Vulnerabilities on Computers & Mobile Devices

Fortunately, in addition to upgrades in hardware, there are tools to detect when users have outdated applications on their computers and mobile devices.

Device Management Software

Device management software is a type of management or security technology that enables IT to monitor, manage and secure corporate or personally owned mobile devices running across multiple operating systems. However, this typically requires the end user or IT department to manually install the management tool on each device. Once the software is installed, the devices can be secured to meet the business’s security policy.

Company Protocols

One of the best ways to ensure your business stays up to date is through consistent documentation and a solid set of maintenance and update processes everyone’s aware of. Centralized management tools, such as Microsoft’s Configuration Manager and others that push software updates, are valuable assets.

Remote Monitoring and Management

Another important tool for IT professionals is remote monitoring and management, or RMM. Also called patch management, RMM monitors and manages virtual machines, laptops, desktops, and servers with identical automated deployments. These tools connect to networked PCs, remote devices, mobile devices, and backups to ensure licenses and security patches are current.

Be Vigilant with Updates

Even if you think you’re aware and protected while online, updating your software and devices is an essential element of security that must not be overlooked. Given how fast hackers and malware evolve, businesses that use outdated legacy technology increase their cybersecurity vulnerabilities since they have trouble detecting new threats.

Bottom line: The cost it takes to recover from a cyberattack caused by an unsupported OS is significantly larger than the cost of upgrading your systems or hardware and training your team.”

Why It’s Important To Have Up To Date Technology

In excerpts from an article by Empyrion, they wrote, “In today’s digital age, businesses heavily rely on technology, making it challenging to keep up with the latest equipment and software.

Using outdated equipment creates a significant security risk, leaving businesses vulnerable to cyberattacks.

This article will explore the importance of staying updated with technology, the risks of delaying upgrades, steps on reducing the risk of cyberattacks, and how providers can help protect your business from cyber threats.

Having Outdated Equipment Is A Security Risk

Working with outdated equipment can increase the likelihood of a cyberattack. This is because old equipment may lack the necessary security features to protect against modern-day cyber threats. Typically, older equipment will not be up to date with the latest security updates and patches, which ultimately makes it more vulnerable to attacks.

Outdated equipment can also be more susceptible to attacks due to its limited processing power and memory, which can overall impede its ability to run the latest security software effectively. Any businesses using legacy systems may be at a higher risk, as older systems may not have been designed to address modern-day security threats.

In addition, older equipment may not be compatible with current security protocols and standards, making it easier for attackers to exploit vulnerabilities and breach the system. As cyber threats continue to evolve, business owners need to keep their equipment up-to-date with the latest security protocols and updates to lessen the risk of a cyberattack.

Not Being Prepared For A Cyberattack Can Have Consequences

A cyberattack can cause significant damage to a business, both financially and reputationally. Cybercriminals may gain access to sensitive information, including customer data, financial records, and intellectual property, which they can sell on the dark web, resulting in financial losses, legal liabilities, and a tarnished reputation.

Additionally, cyberattacks can disrupt a company’s operations, leading to lost revenue, missed deadlines, and unhappy customers. For example, if a cyberattack causes a company’s website or network to go down, customers may be unable to access their accounts or make purchases. A business affected by this would likely see a decrease in consumer spending as well as customer retention.

Successful digital attacks can erode a business’s reputation and credibility since they increase the chances of customers losing trust in the company’s ability to keep sensitive information protected. Plus any negative publicity generated because of the cyberattack will also damage the public image of the company.

In the worst-case scenario, a digital intrusion could force a business to go out of business and shut down permanently. Since the financial and reputational damage inflicted by a cyberattack can be substantial, many businesses are put in a position where they are unable to recover from such an event.

How To Reduce The Risk Of A Cyberattack

Cybersecurity threats are a growing concern for businesses, as cybercriminals increasingly target organizations with limited resources and fewer security measures in place. However, there are steps that business owners can take to reduce the risk of a cyberattack and protect their business from potential harm. These would include the following:

1. Keep equipment up-to-date: Regularly update all software, including operating systems, applications, and security software, to ensure vulnerabilities are addressed and security features are up-to-date.

2. Use strong passwords: Use complex passwords that include a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts, and consider using a password manager to generate and store passwords securely.

3. Implement two-factor authentication: Enable two-factor authentication where possible, which requires users to provide two forms of identification (e.g. a password and a security code sent to their phone) to access an account.

4. Train employees on best practices for cybersecurity: Educate employees on how to recognize phishing emails, social engineering attacks, and other common tactics used by cybercriminals. Teach them how to handle sensitive data, use company equipment safely, and report any suspicious activity.

5. Backup data regularly: Backup data frequently, ideally daily or weekly, to prevent data loss in case of a cyberattack.

6. Use encryption: Encrypt sensitive data both in transit and at rest to prevent unauthorized access.

7. Implement network segmentation: Divide the network into smaller, more secure segments to prevent a single point of failure from compromising the entire network.

By implementing these steps, business owners can significantly reduce the risk of a cyberattack and protect their businesses from potential cyber threats.”

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, the risk of cyber attacks continues to grow, with outdated technology serving as a significant vulnerability. Legacy systems and infrastructure, often slow to receive updates and lacking modern security measures, become prime targets for cybercriminals. The reluctance or inability to upgrade to more secure, cloud-based platforms leaves organizations exposed to various threats, including ransomware and data breaches.

Outdated operating systems, software, and hardware create substantial security risks, as they lack necessary updates and security features. Vulnerabilities in these systems can lead to devastating cyber attacks, compromising sensitive data and disrupting business operations. Additionally, mobile devices pose a significant threat, as outdated operating systems may lack essential security patches, leaving them susceptible to exploitation.

To mitigate these risks, organizations must prioritize updating their technology infrastructure. By embracing modernized, cloud-based solutions and implementing robust cybersecurity measures, such as two-factor authentication and regular data backups, businesses can reduce their susceptibility to cyber threats and protect critical assets from potential harm.


The prevalence of cyber attacks underscores the urgent need for organizations to modernize their technology infrastructure and implement robust cybersecurity measures. Outdated systems, including operating systems, software, and hardware, pose significant security risks, making businesses vulnerable to exploitation by cybercriminals. Failure to upgrade technology exposes organizations to various threats, including data breaches, ransomware attacks, and operational disruptions, with potentially severe financial and reputational consequences.

By prioritizing technology updates, embracing cloud-based solutions, and implementing comprehensive cybersecurity protocols, organizations can significantly reduce their vulnerability to cyber threats. Educating employees on best practices for cybersecurity and regularly backing up data are crucial steps in safeguarding against potential attacks. In an era where cyber-attacks are increasingly sophisticated and prevalent, proactive measures to strengthen cybersecurity defenses are essential for protecting businesses and maintaining trust with stakeholders.

At Adaptive Office Solutions, cybersecurity is our specialty. We keep cybercrimes at bay by using analysis, forensics, and reverse engineering to prevent malware attempts and patch vulnerability issues. By making an investment in multilayered cybersecurity, you can leverage our expertise to boost your defenses, mitigate risks, and protect your data with next-gen IT security solutions.

Every device connecting to the internet poses a cyber security threat, including that innocent-looking smartwatch you’re wearing. Adaptive’s wide range of experience and certifications fills the gaps in your business’s IT infrastructure and dramatically increases the effectiveness of your cybersecurity posture.

Using our proactive cybersecurity management, cutting-edge network security tools, and comprehensive business IT solutions, you can lower your costs through systems that are running at their prime, creating greater efficiency and preventing data loss and costly downtime. With Adaptive Office Solutions by your side, we’ll help you navigate the complexities of cybersecurity so you can achieve business success without worrying about online threats.

To schedule a Cyber Security Risk Review, call the Adaptive Office Solutions’ hotline at 506-624-9480 or email us at