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Banks face security threat because of Windows XP

Windows2A report by a consulting firm indicates that the banking industry in India could be facing a security threat with the decision of Microsoft to withdraw support to Windows XP from 8 April 2014. It is estimated that over 34,000 bank branches and thousands of retailers use Windows XP and these users can be victims of hackers. The consultancy, Ascentius Consulting, says many Indian public sector banks may have decided to replace Windows XP, but they may be still left with approximately 20-30% of their base on Windows XP even after April 2014, thereby facing the security risks. The firm says approximately 70% of rural public sector banks, 60% of semi-urban public sector banks, 40% of urban and metro PSBs use Windows XP as their operating system. The report also mentions that overall over 34,000 branches of public sector banks will be at risk due to end of support for Windows XP. The Indian Banks Association has written to its members asking them to take steps to mitigate risks following Microsoft’s announcement. Ascentius estimates that in a worst -case scenario, Indian banking industry will be exposed to a loss of income to the range of Rs 330 crore over a three days period.

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