Outdated software can generate major problems for your company’s health, which impact everything from the security of your data to the productivity of your employees.

To better understand the dangers of keeping outdated software in your company, we’ve pointed out in this article the top five risks generated when you ignore update warnings, keep using software versions that no longer receive security updates, and no longer have manufacturer support.

1. Easiest gateway for cybercriminals

One of the easiest ways for cybercriminals to break into enterprise systems is through outdated software, because these systems are vulnerable as they do not have the latest security updates.

How it happens: most malware (malicious software designed to infect computers, phones, and tablets) targets older versions of software precisely to exploit vulnerabilities that have already been fixed in newer versions.

So, when you fail to download an update, keep putting it off, even after warnings or keep old software that is not supported by the manufacturer, your company is subject to attacks and failures. It’s very easy for these criminals to break into your company’s system, but it can cost you a lot: loss of strategic data, business disruptions, leaking of sensitive information, reputation damage and loss of credibility.

Therefore, make sure you have the manufacturer’s support for your software, so you will receive every security update. And when you receive these updates, install them immediately.

2. Loss of data caused by software failures

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 4 out of every 10 companies that suffer data loss end up closing. Data loss can happen due to natural disasters, laptop theft or even accidental file deletion. To solve these cases, you only have to work with protection solutions, such as cloud backup and encryption. But when the fault is in the software itself?

The main strategy for this not to happen is to keep the software updated by regular maintenance. Maintenance is a process of improving a software, which makes it possible to correct errors that are found during use. Large manufacturers, such as Microsoft, offer support services that cover security updates and enhancements. But if infrastructure failures still occur, you can count on the manufacturer’s technical team.

3. Bugs in the operating system

In addition to losing and damaging data, a software failure can cause a bug in your entire operating system. That’s because many companies use complex systems in their processes that integrate various software, such as project management, database, document sharing. Can you imagine a failure in a single software or a single process? The chances of crashing your operating system and/or corrupting your registries are high.

If your software and programs are supported by the manufacturer you can rely on the manufacturer’s leading staff to resolve the issue. But if you don’t, you may have unexpected (and often high) expenses to fix the problem. Not to mention the drop in productivity and performance that will possibly impact your results.

Again, the best way is prevention. Always have software and programs with versions supported by the manufacturer, in case the worst happens. As far as possible, keep the newest versions of the software, with a faster approval procedure, bugs are eliminated in less time.

4. Drop in productivity caused by poor software performance

Outdated software usually malfunctions, which can cause slowdowns, restarts and even programs to close by themselves. These failures make the work of employees difficult, reflecting on their performance and can even invalidate an activity. According to the complexity of the activity and information involved, these small failures can cause even loss of data and even loss of customers. These small, barely noticeable glitches caused by outdated software impact employees’ productivity significantly.

5. Incompatibility

A big problem generated by outdated software is related to its compatibility. At the time the software is created, it is obviously written based on the technologies, systems and hardware that are in operation at the time, even so that it is possible to use it effectively when it is released. In a few cases it can even support and be efficient on older technologies as well. But the opposite rarely happens.

Another problem with outdated software is that it doesn’t pass through the latest testing and quality assurance tests and thus, incompatibility occurs with the latest systems and technologies.

We live in an era where technologies are constantly evolving. New hardware and new features appear every day, inefficient and obsolete technologies are no longer used and end up not supporting more software that was written for that technology. In this way, the user ends up having to choose between keeping everything in the past or updating themselves, following the evolutions and benefiting from them.