Microsoft has announced the end of support for a popular operating system, Windows XP as of April 8, 2014.

What does this mean?  After April 8, 2014, Microsoft will not release any new security updates, or provide technical assistance (paid or non-paid), including online technical content updates.

What is the impact? If customers are still running Windows XP or using a payment application that had the Windows XP operating system embedded in it, the lack of security updates could put them at great risk for a data breach. In addition, if their payment card environment is integrated into a PC with this operating system, they will begin to fail the vulnerability scans that are part of the self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ) and continued compliance attestation. This will make it difficult to comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). Please check with the payment applications vendor to ensure they are not at risk.

How to address this situation?  First, make sure the system is updated with the latest security patches and updates. This should be a regular activity practiced regardless of operating system. It is even more important to stay up to date on these patches and updates as the end of support deadline approaches.

Second, make an upgrade to a new operating system (such as Windows 7 or Windows

8) as soon as possible. Depending on the situation, choices could be upgrading to a new operating system, purchasing a new PC, or getting assistance to upgrade and fully integrate your environment.

Don’t delay! Converting to a new operating system often takes time to ensure everything is working properly.  Taking steps to ensure business’s payment card environment is secure to avoid costs associated with being non-compliant and possibly a data breach.  For more information on this change please visit