New Lifeline for Windows XP Users Who Don't Wish to Upgrade

Support for Windows XP is being discontinued and this will leave this popular Windows platform more vulnerable to intrusion attacks. For those who don't want to or can't upgrade to a newer version of Windows Horizon, DataSys offers a few alternatives.

Blaine, WA (PRWEB) March 26, 2014

Horizon DataSys, the premier developer of PC instant recovery solutions, announced today that its RollBack Rx, Drive Vaccine, and Reboot Restore Rx software solve security issues for those who don't want to upgrade from Windows XP and also offers unrivaled instant restore capabilities for newer versions of Windows.

Are You Ready to Upgrade from Windows XP?

Microsoft will discontinue its free support for Windows XP starting on April 8, 2014. Windows XP was first introduced way back on December 31, 2001 and ever since it's been the dominant operating system for about 12 years. It's been estimated that about a quarter of all computers worldwide are still running this outdated operating system. As XP nears the end of its lifecycle, if you're among that odd 20 to 25 percent it's a good time to start planning for your network's upgrade path to the next version of Windows.

How Cyber Attacks Exploit XP Vulnerabilities

As of this April, Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates and so Windows XP systems will become even more vulnerable to hackers, viruses, and other security risks. Also, all XP-related automatic fixes, updates, and online technical assistance will no longer be available. As Windows XP approaches its end-of-life an increasing number of third party applications and devices also won't be compatible with this OS. Backward compatibility for XP will become increasingly rare.

The simple act of migrating a network's PCs to a more recent OS is often the most cost-effective way of thwarting cyberattacks. And this usually costs a lot less than other more glamorous advanced cybersecurity initiatives such as monitoring, anti-malware, third-party firewalls, or hacker jamming methods. Often an up-to-date operating system with the latest routine system security patches is the best way to defeat cyberattacks, virus, or other intrusion attacks. Hackers need only look at the new security patches offered for Windows 7 and Windows 8 to realize the vulnerabilities of any unsupported operating system.

So What's the Best Way to Avoid Intrusion Attempts?

If you're unable to upgrade to a newer OS, security experts advise that XP machines not be connected to the Internet nor to the rest of your network. Programs on such machines also shouldn't need any regular updates or network-related patching. Flash drives -- another major source of infections -- should also be disabled on these XP machines. Many of these precautions are simply not viable for multi-user PC networks such as at most classroom labs, libraries, internet cafes, and hotels.

Workaround for Continuing Use of Windows XP on Public Access PCs

But there is another alternative available for public access computer management for those who due to cost constraints are simply unable to upgrade to a newer, supported version of Windows. Many administrators of these shared computing environments are planning on retaining their Windows XP systems even while they leave them connected to their local networks and the internet. Their workaround to the security issues cited above is to use a third-party instant restore application. Many such freeware utilities are available. The most popular of which is Reboot Restore Rx. Commercial auto-reset options such as Deep Freeze and Drive Vaccine should also be considered. In a nutshell, such restore-to-baseline applications return the common use computers to a pristine system state on every reboot. Reboot Restore Rx is a freeware alternative to SteadyState and is very popular with non-profit institutions. Steady State was a freeware reboot-to-restore utility provided by Microsoft but was discontinued in 2011.

Among the available commercial restore-on-reboot utilities Drive Vaccine is the most popular. Drive Vaccine is an automated reset utility that returns all the network PCs back to a perfect system state that the system administrator predefines. Since Drive Vaccine comes with a free enterprise-level management utility, it's easy to centrally manage cybersecurity policies, patch the machines with the latest Windows and program updates, and stay up-to-date. Drive Vaccine is also fully compatible with Windows 7 and Windows 8. Drive Vaccine also allows you to disable USB flash drives to prevent other security threats.

The #1 Personal PC Instant Time Machine for Windows XP Systems

For those users who still have Windows XP on their personal machines the fastest and most painless way to recover from any software-related issue is to have RollBack Rx installed. Even if you acquire a virus, malware, or OS stability issues, with RollBack Rx you can quickly revert your system back to any one of multiple restore points (or "snapshots") with a simple reboot. RollBack Rx is a quicker and more comprehensive competitor to Windows System Restore. Windows System Restore (or even Reset and Refresh in Windows 8) takes up from a quarter to a half of the hard disk space to create its restore points, only backs-up Windows System files, and automatically starts deleting older restore points. Each RollBack Rx snapshot takes up less than 1% of the harddrive's capacity, backs up everything on up to four internal harddisks, and lets you micro-manage the snapshots.

Drive Vaccine, RollBack Rx, and Reboot Restore Rx are also available for Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Horizon DataSys Corporation is a privately held software company headquartered in Blaine, WA which develops, publishes, and distributes branded computer software applications specializing in end-point PC management, OS integrity, and instant restore.