Vasyl Soloshchuk
31 December 2021

Unsecured Legacy Software: Risks and How to Eliminate Them

Using outdated software is like wearing thin and worn boots patched numerous times on a rainy day. The difference is that your organization becomes exposed to security risks, not simply rain. 

From this piece, you’ll learn about the threats of unsecured legacy software and how to identify and eliminate them. 

What are legacy systems?

Any software once was cutting-edge but inevitably becomes outdated over time. Software that hasn’t been updated to the latest version or is no longer supported by its vendor in time becomes a legacy system. Legacy systems can be a threat to your data safety and lead to financial losses, which is why it is crucial to implement measures that safeguard your business from malicious attacks and boost technological efficiency. 

Unsecured Legacy Software | Fintech CTO Club

5 ways legacy software can damage your business

Although legacy systems are still used because they are often crucial for businesses, their negative impact can outweigh the benefits. 

Data is vulnerable to cyberattacks. 

Viruses, rootkits, and other malware constantly evolve, and new types of attacks appear. Legacy systems don’t provide up-to-date security controls and protection, making it harder to detect bugs or weak spots, which increases entities’ vulnerability.

Performance inevitably declines. 

The more outdated the software is, the slower it performs, and you’ll achieve fewer outcomes than expected. Maintaining legacy software will lead to a decrease in efficiency, which is particularly prominent when comparing outdated solutions to modern solutions.

Maintenance is expensive and pointless. 

On top of decreasing capabilities, legacy software also demands large expenditures. For instance, the U.S. government expenses on maintaining legacy systems account for 80% percent of its IT budget. As legacy systems will still need to be replaced at some point, they rob your business of time, finance, and opportunities. 

Meeting regulations becomes challenging.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) deems businesses that utilize end-of-life software as failing to comply. Other privacy laws also demand that data is properly protected, which is next to impossible for legacy system owners.

Compatibility and integration are poor.

Advanced new software can be incompatible with legacy technology, and outdated systems are also hard to bridge with each other. Opting for keeping old solutions may cost your company growth opportunities.

Markers of a legacy system 

  • Misleading comments 
  • Poor UI design
  • Numerous instances of code duplication
  • Poorly documented bugs and reports on them
  • Huge and inadequately programmed classes and methods
  • No contact with software developers
  • Missing or no documentation