The University of Nebraska will block Windows XP access to administrative users of business and student information systems as a security precaution, effective April 8. Access to the Firefly employee portal and MyRed student portal will remain open to Windows XP past April, but users are encouraged to upgrade their computer’s operating system to a newer version.
The April date coincides with Microsoft’s end of support for the 12-year-old operating system. Microsoft is no longer providing security updates, leaving the software and its users open to numerous security vulnerabilities.
Anyone attempting to access the SAP Business System (also known as the SAP GUI) or the PeopleSoft application with a computer running Windows XP after the April date will be redirected to an informational Web page. An announcement of the change is currently posted in Firefly.
The decision was reached by the administration and campus CIOs from a recommendation from the system-wide information security council.
“You’ll start to see banking, shopping and other online businesses and organizations blocking Windows XP,” said Rick Haugerud, UNL’s chief security officer. “The number of malware and vulnerabilities skyrocket when an operating system is no longer supported or updated.”
Information Technology Services is notifying current XP users accessing the systems and is working with college and department IT staff to provide guidance in upgrading or replacing aging university-owned computers. The university is also strongly encouraging individuals to upgrade personally-owned computers as well.
“The threats also apply to personally-owned computers at home,” Haugerud said. “If you haven’t upgraded your hardware or software, now is an opportune time.”
For questions regarding end of support for Windows XP, contact a local SAP service desk or IT support. For additional information, go to http://go.unl.edu/xp or contact the Computer Help Center at firstname.lastname@example.org, 402-472-3970 or 866-472-3970.