|
|
|
MailTribune.com
  • End of Windows XP support sends ATM operators scrambling

    Microsoft will stop servicing operating system next month, but many machines can't be upgraded
  • The days of Windows XP are numbered, and that has created headaches for financial institutions and ATM operators across the country whose cash machines use the aging Microsoft operating system.
    • email print
  • The days of Windows XP are numbered, and that has created headaches for financial institutions and ATM operators across the country whose cash machines use the aging Microsoft operating system.
    By some estimates, as many as 95 percent of the nation's ATMs will be without support from Microsoft when service is cut on April 8. That doesn't mean the machines will stop working. But it means the ATM owners won't have Microsoft to call when problems arise. And the older machines may not be as secure as they could be.
    Most bank systems are set up to deal with such problems, said Scott Anderson, president of Core Business Services in Medford, who has worked with a variety of clients who are transitioning out of XP for the past six months. But the 208,000 independently operated ATMs at places like convenience stores, bars and malls are at the greatest risks.
    "The problem isn't just the Windows upgrade," Anderson said. "The majority of ATMs and computers that run them are significantly older than computers in the typical business network. Some of the (ATMS) just run until they die. You can't upgrade them to Windows 7 because the hardware won't necessarily support Windows 7."
    Medford's two locally based financial institutions have taken steps to protect customers using their ATMs.
    "We have taken appropriate precautions to ensure the integrity of data on our ATMs," said Gene Pelham, president and CEO of Rogue Credit Union. "We constantly evaluate the security and integrity of member data. It's not one article at a time, rather it's a constant focus to make sure we're doing everything we can."
    Pelham said firewalls and other protective measures are in place to protect the credit union's ATMs.
    "Windows XP is going away, but there are other protections in place to mitigate those, and we're in the process of upgrading," Pelham said. "All financial institutions are in the process of upgrading ATMs over time because of the variety of changes in security regulations."
    New ATMs cost $40,000, said People's Bank of Commerce CEO Ken Troutman.
    Of the four ATMs People's Bank operates, one is upgradable, Troutman said. "One way is to isolate the ATM from the network and give it a unique set of rules and safeguards."
    Jeri Reno, chief operating officer at People's Bank of Commerce, said the good news for her bank and others is that Microsoft will provide anti-malware updates through July 2015.
    Reno said People's Bank has upgraded and changed out machines over a period of time.
    "With that and taking additional precautions, it really does reduce threats," Reno said. "There is a fairly extensive cost with ATMs," Reno said. "What we can do is follow the protocols that enable us to implement additional controls and provide security layers."
    Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregMTBusiness, friend him on Facebook and read his blog at www.mailtribune.com/Economic Edge.
Reader Reaction
      • calendar