Classic movies? Timeless. Classic restaurants? Nostalgic. Classic software? A liability.
Unfortunately, not all things get better with age. The older a program or set of code is, the more time malicious individuals have had to “crack the code” or find security issues. As security issues are identified, they are addressed in the latest and greatest version of the code. FleetFocus now includes two-factor authentication in the newest update, along with enhanced session key security. Essentially, as threats to data security become more prevalent, we have to adapt and create greater safeguards with multi-step verification processes and enhanced encryption and data recovery services.
At the same time, End of Life issues need to be addressed before it is too late. End of Life is the designation for software systems that will no longer receive any sort of support. A great example of this issue can be observed with the modern personal computer operating systems. Windows 7 from Microsoft is currently receiving Extended Security Updates until August 2020, at which point there will no longer be any support. Extended Security Updates is the designation given to the period where a software provider will provide minimal, or critical, security updates for a product. In this case, Windows 7 is in its ESU period. It will reach End of Life as of August 2020.
*Note: it is HIGHLY recommended that Windows users upgrade to the most recent version (Windows 10) if they are still running Windows 7. Most fleet management Quality Assurance testing environments have already been upgraded to Windows 10.
Why would a beloved operating system like Windows 7 no longer be supported?
These companies are businesses, and businesses have to the make the smartest decisions for them, their shareholders and their customers. While they could theoretically keep spending resources, time and money on updating and patching antiquated operating systems, it really is not a very wise move. They are attempting to fix a broken bone with a bandage, so to speak. While the framework of Windows 7 was state of the art at the time, it no longer is, and it presents certain data and code limitations that would require extensive resources to overcome. On the other hand, creating a brand new, up-to-date operating system, like Windows 10, gives Microsoft a lot more leeway in design and implementation. With the knowledge of decades of security issues and user interface changes, Microsoft understands the need to design operating systems with software that is intended to last and be easily updated. Their decision to End of Life older, liable systems in favor of getting everyone to switch to the same modern platform allows them to update accurately, timely and efficiently.
What does this mean for fleet management?
Your fleet management software follows the exact same principles. Old systems have to be phased out in favor of newer systems with proper security updates. Even hardware systems, like FuelFocus Island Controller Units, have to follow this update schedule as their framework is built around the existing operating systems. If they use Windows XP and that will no longer be supported, AssetWorks provides a new system that runs off of the succeeding software so that you always have secure, supported solutions.
Ultimately, the decision lies in the hands of the user. You won’t wake up in August 2020, turn on your Windows 7 PC and see a blank screen because the software has been terminated. Theoretically, you can hold on to software as long you want to keep using it. However, with everyday past End of Line that you don’t upgrade, your data and processes become more and more vulnerable. To enjoy the newest user interface designs, bug fixes, security updates and more, you need to follow your software provider’s advice and keep everything updated whenever possible.