Support ends for Internet Explorer leaving millions at risk

Despite an announcement in 2014 informing users that they would no longer offer support or security upgrades for Internet Explorer (IE) 8, 9, and 10, it is estimated that 340 million users will be using outdated versions of Internet Explorer if they do not upgrade or switch browsers by January 12.

Over the past few years, Internet Explorer, once dominant in the browser arena, has been losing market share. To counter this trend and better compete in the 'Internet of Things' environment, the company developed Microsoft Edge and released it standard with Windows 10 this past fall. It was well received in the tech world, praised as "fast and simple" by several reviewers.

Unfortunately, the mandate to upgrade or switch to the new Microsoft Edge has accelerated the company’s loss of share in the browser market. According to a recent Computerworld article: "That's been a trend since Microsoft told users they had to upgrade to IE11. By demanding that users switch from, say, IE8 to IE11, Microsoft in effect motivated customers to download and run a rival browser, since people had to change in any case. The mandate has been disastrous for IE, as it has plummeted 9.9 percentage points, representing 17% of its pre-announcement share... Chrome has been the beneficiary of Microsoft's decree, gaining nine-tenths of a percentage point of user share in December, 9.7 points in the last 12 months, and a mammoth 12.7 points since the August 2014 command to upgrade or else."

The bottom line is that if you are using any version of Internet Explorer except 11, your data is at risk and you should make an immediate upgrade or switch browser, depending on your operating system. The end of IE, like the retirement of Windows XP a few years ago, reminds us about the important security issues around keeping systems updated and that there is a very real risk associated with solutions and devices that the industry has deemed obsolete. We used to consider a replacement cycle of 5-8 years in the world of desktop PCs, but today, with mobile devices, it's 1-4 years depending on the device. As you plan your company’s operating budget, assume a 3-4 year lifespan for your hardware devices and plan accordingly. Use the Sinu Store as a guideline of what today’s devices cost and plan to replace 20-30% of your company’s devices yearly to ensure no device is more than 4 years old. (To access the Sinu Store, go to Sinu Support and click the STORE tab on the far right.)