The Risks of Running Old Servers Beyond End of Life

Posted in Latest News, Migration, Tech News On July 5, 2017
running old servers

Has your hosting company recently advised you of support end of life for your server? Are you being encouraged to update your operating system or migrate to a new server? If you’re struggling to justify the move, here is a rundown of the risks of running old servers beyond end of life.

A case of security updates

Once the server OS reaches End of Life (EoL) it will not be possible to update the server to remove any vulnerabilities.

For example, last year there were exploit patches to prevent unauthorized access via the openSSH protocol.

Once identified, RedHat issued server updates, within a few hours, for supported Operating Systems. Once out of life, these patches are not made available.

This might also include updating things like the server PHP version or MySQL database software.

Hacking

Cyber security and hacking are prominent issues in the media right now.

It is very difficult to protect a server from an experienced hacker as they know how to get around obstacles. Experienced hackers are the ones who find and publish the exploits.

A script kiddie will just download something from the internet and try to run it on the server.

If it doesn’t work, because the OS / CMS / other software has been kept up to date, they will just move on to find someone else’s server to play with.

If it does work they will likely boast about it and probably share the information with others in their group.

There are thousands of script kiddies for every dedicated hacker.

New software

In the event of new modules / software being required, it may not be possible to install on out of support OS’s.

For example, if a Content Management System needs to be updated, it might require a newer version of PHP or additional PHP modules to be installed.

Failure to update the CMS means that the server or website is vulnerable to widely known exploits.

Having an EoL OS can also be limiting; if you want to add new functionality to a server, it might require additional software that is simply not available for the OS.  This means that super piece of new software cannot be used!

When the CEO see’s something on another website and wants it on theirs, it can be embarrassing to explain that it cannot be installed because the OS is out of date!

Solution

Your best option to firefight the above risks, is to purchase a newer server and migrate your current sites and applications on to it. Granted, it comes at a price, but it’s likely to be less costly than having to resolve some of the above issues if you get caught out.

If you require a no-obligation quote for a proposed migration project, please feel free to complete our migration questionnaire, or give us a call on 0203 761 3520.