Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Many ATM computer systems becoming out-of-date, creating security concerns

If your computer is still running the Windows XP operating system, on April 8 it will be more exposed to viruses. Many homes and businesses still run on XP, including ATMs.
However, bank security officials assure ATM users that your security is not at greater risk because of Microsoft’s changes.
"They're not going to be at any more risk after next week than they are today,” said Montgomery Bank Information Security Officer Steven Ward.
The computer that runs an ATM is much like a home or business computer, except for one main difference.
"It’s not like a computer at your home or at your business that's on a network and connected to other computers and connected to the internet,” Ward said. “This network is a completely separate network."
Ward said most bank’s ATMs run on Windows XP. That means change is coming. Banks everywhere are upgrading operating systems.
"Everybody will be replacing this [Windows XP] and what's driving this is not out of a security concern, it's out of service ability and being able to provide service to the customers,” Ward said.
U.S. Bank officials say all of the bank’s ATM will be upgraded by the April 8 deadline.
Workers at First Midwest Bank say their systems are already up-to-date.
Computer experts say home and business computers that currently run Windows XP are facing the greatest risk.
“[On] April 8, Microsoft is no longer supporting it,” said Sales Manager at Velocity Electronics Allen Whitaker.
Whitaker said those computers are at risk for computer problems.
"Adware, malware, viruses, stuff like that,” Whitaker said.
If your computer still runs XP, Whitaker said you should either buy a new computer or update your operating system (OS). However, you can only update your OS if your computer is not too old.
"They [customers] usually ask 'Do I really have to?' The answer is ‘No, you can do whatever you want.’ Would we recommend that? No?” Whitaker said.
On April 8, your computer will not stop working if you have Windows XP, but Microsoft will no longer support it.