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New StatCounter report highlights global risk to business and other users from Windows XP

XP still world's second most popular operating system despite Microsoft's notice to end support

Despite news that Microsoft will discontinue support in April this year for Windows XP, it remains the second most popular operating system worldwide in terms of internet usage, according to StatCounter, the independent website analytics company.

The company's research arm, StatCounter Global Stats, finds that in January 2014 Windows 7 was che global leader on 54.3% while XP took 19.2% on a worldwide basis.

"Even in mature markets like North America and the UK, XP remains ahead of Windows 8, 8.1 and Vista," commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. "This has serious implications for users, especially businesses, as lack of support may leave their data and systems at risk of exposure to security and virus issues."

Microsoft has long advised that it will end support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. In April 2013 it said: "This means that XP customers and partners will no longer receive security updates or be able to take advantage of tech support from Microsoft."I Updates for Microsoft Security Essentials, however, will be available until July 2015. (2)

Despite the risks. XP remains the second most popular OS in terms of internet usage in Europe ( I 6.9%); South America (1 8.6%); Asia (26.4%) and Africa (32.0%). It is the third most popular in North America (12.5%); US (12.4%) and UK (9.5%). Individual country stats may be accessed at:

industry Leaders Urge Organisations to make Data Security Top Priority

Firms risk permanent damage to their reputation with security savvy public

Businesses must make data protection their top priority in 2014 in the light of high profile data breaches and increased consumer knowledge on the subject.

High profile data breaches have thrust data security into the limelight and front of mind for many B2B and B2C consumers, leaving firms unable to shun data protection without risking permanent damage to their reputation.

A panel of experts within the data security industry gathered at a round table event in Manchester to discuss the damage security attacks can have on a business.

Lawrence Jones, CEO of hosting and colocation firm UKFast said: "Last year was plagued with so many high profile security breaches and really thrust data security onto the public's radar. Consumers are no longer ignorant to data storage and aren't happy to hand over information without expecting it to be secure and confidential.

"CEOs need to bear this in mind when deciding high a priority data protection is. Can you afford to risk your reputation as secure company to a newly clued-up public?"

Matt Gladwin, network and IT infrastructure manager at Genting Casinos agreed: "Not understanding the cost-benefit is the main barrier to data protection; 'this box is going to cost [pounds sterling]10,000 but I don't understand what it's going to save me.' It could save a [pounds sterling]500,000 DPA fine but then how do you put a number on the cost of your reputation being damaged on top of that?"

Terence Greer-King...

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