Source: Net Market Share
Windows 7 died. That's right. Since January this year, when Microsoft announced that it was going to discontinue support, 37% of PCs (about 66 million machines) in Brazil were left unprotected and with no alternative offered by the manufacturer. The situation does not only affect Brazil: according to the website Net Market Share, version 7 of Windows is, in the world, the operating system of 26,6% of computers, behind only version 10 (the Windows 8.1 runs on 3,6% of devices).
Software updates from Windows Update, which helped protect computers, are also no longer available for the product. The recommendation on the Microsoft website is that everyone should have migrated to version 10.
Thiago Branquinho, CTO of TI Safe, considers that it is practically impossible to migrate the machine versions of the automation networks in industrial plants or in the electric, sanitation and gas companies (Utilities) where programmable logic controllers (PLCs), sensors, actuators, among others connection equipment is controlled by machines with supervisory systems that still run on Windows 7. “Generally, companies use equipment from major players in the automation market, which requires high investments in the acquisition. To change the operating system, it will be necessary to implement compatible supervisory systems and recertify them with manufacturers, which would require a high financial contribution and, worse, not planned by the companies ”, details Thiago.
However, for the TI Safe CTO, it is also extremely dangerous to stop having technical support for Windows 7. This is because, as he explains: “if there is any type of cyber invasion through the operating system and it is not updated and, properly , protected, any simple virus can wreak havoc and contamination can spread to all machines that are connected ”. The only way out, in his opinion, is to use protective measures with complementary controls that include monitoring systems based on behavior and the so-called Whitelisting, a kind of pre-approval of software considered harmless. “The system is isolated and any unusual activity or action is immediately detected and mitigated. Thus, if an attempt is made to invade by viruses, it is possible to interrupt the flow and prevent transmission to other equipment, ”assures the CTO.