Banks given deadline to upgrade ATMs from Windows XP to Windows 7 or 8

Banks given deadline to upgrade ATMs from Windows XP to Windows 7 or 8

atm-machineGhana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) has urged banks operating on Microsoft operating systems to upgrade their Automated Teller Machines to Windows 7 or 8 before the April 8th deadline.

April 8th is the day Microsoft cuts off technical support to its 12 year old windows XP, which dominates the ATM market. This means that Microsoft will no longer issue security updates to patch holes in Windows XP, leaving those ATMs exposed to new kinds of cyber-attacks.

ATM service providers and banks are therefore rushing to upgrade so as not to become hot targets for hackers.

In a statement, GhIPSS said banks had no excuse but to upgrade to Windows 7 to protect their customers because the upgrade had been available since October 2009.

It cautioned that banks and ATM service providers who ignored the deadline will function but be more vulnerable to hacks.

There is a lot of pressure from China on Microsoft to continue to provide support for XP beyond April 8th, 2014, but the pressure hasn’t really yielded any practical results. However, Microsoft will continue to release patches that will promote computers running on XP for malware until July 2015 but only for Microsoft Security Essentials. Users will need to have downloaded Microsoft security essentials before April 8th if they require access, the statement read.