Companies wishing to maintain effective data security should be aware of a flaw that has been highlighted in the Internet Explorer (IE) browser that could allow criminals to access their systems.
Microsoft’s IE browser for the Windows XP operating system remains one of the most popular in the world and is the mainstay of many businesses operations when accessing the internet.
The flaw has been highlighted as affecting up to one quarter of PC internet users and therefore could have wide-ranging impact on businesses across the globe.
It has been described as “dangerous” by Microsoft, but the tech giant is yet to offer a solution to the problem. It relates to IE versions 6 through 11, although the exploit is most pronounced in IE 9 and upwards.
Undertaking significant data recovery activities following a security breach can be a costly affair for firms and can also lead to the loss of both reputation and business if the issue becomes public.
Companies that use IE should therefore have the best data recovery and protection policies in place, as failing to adequately safeguard sensitive business and consumer information could end up landing them in hot water.
A Microsoft statement said: “An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system.
“An attacker could then install programs, view, change or delete data or create new accounts with full user rights.”
Data security should always be the top priority for any business and therefore companies using newer versions of IE for web browsing are being advised to switch to other providers, such as Google’s Chrome or Mozilla’s Firefox.
Support for the XP operating system was withdrawn by Microsoft earlier this year, so it is unlikely the firm will be rolling out any significant fix for this issue in the near future. As a result, companies keen to ensure their data remains secure at all times should consider moving away from this legacy system.
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