Manchester's Police Force is Still Using Windows XP

By Kim Snaith on at

I can't even remember the last time I used Windows XP, so it's hard to imagine that many people — and important people with important jobs at that — still use it every day. Greater Manchester Police is among those, revealing that 20 per cent of its PCs (more than 1,500 in total) still run on Windows XP.

Jokes about how mind-numbingly slow their machines must be aside, it's a big security risk. Microsoft stopped supporting the software back in 2014, so it's wide open to potential vulnerabilities and attacks. And a police computer network — well, imagine all the juicy, personal information that must be stored on there.

Windows XP was originally rolled out in October 2001, making it almost 16 years old. In computer terms that's practically prehistoric. There has been four iterations of Windows since, with the latest Windows 10 being around for two years. Upgrading an entire office or business isn't cheap though - licences cost money, and that's often the biggest barrier that stops upgrades happening in a timely fashion. If people are still able to do their jobs, regardless of how old their machine's software may be, why upgrade?

But in today's age of frequent digital attacks and hacks, having a robust and up-to-date computer system - especially when your network contains a lot of sensitive information - is paramount.

It's not just Manchester Police living in the dark ages, either. Cleveland and Northern Ireland Police both still have a handful of PCs running Windows XP. Several police districts confirmed they had none - North Wales, Lancashire, Wiltshire, Gwent and City of London - but others refused to provide any stats. London Met did not share any data, although back in June it had said around 10,000 PCs were still running Windows XP. [BBC]

More Security Posts: