No 'immediate risk' in still running Windows XP - Kingfisher

By Danny Palmer
01 May 2014 View Comments
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Windows XP might now no longer be supported by Microsoft, but that doesn't create an immediate risk for Kingfisher - Europe's largest DIY retailer - which has implemented a number of strategies to ensure the group isn't vulnerable due to lack of support.

Kingfisher, which has more than 78,000 employees across Europe - including those at 350 B&Q stores in the UK - has started rolling out Windows 7, as Ben Hetherington, group service delivery manager for Kingfisher IT Services told Computing last year, but the size of the project means the task still isn't complete.

"XP has now gone out of support, so it's huge for a lot of people at the moment and it's one of the key things we're working towards, because extended support is extremely expensive," Stacey Card, Kingfisher IT risk manager told Computing at ServiceNow's Knowledge 14 conference in San Francisco.

"They haven't really looked at packaging [extended support] up to individuals or their customers so it's really just a big chunk of change. That's something we're looking at," she said.

Hetherington added that Kingfisher has a number of projects geared towards moving the organisation's whole IT estate away from Windows XP and onto Windows 7.

"There are a lot of projects going on to do all this refresh work. Getting them integrated into production and going live with service levels and models, it's important to us," he told Computing, describing how Kingfisher has a team dedicated to keeping everything running smoothly - and protected from threats - now that Windows XP is no longer supported.

"We've got a patching factory to keep us as up-to-date as possible. It's something we've opened recently and we've got a way of prioritising security updates and getting them as up-to-date as quickly as we can."

As a result, Kingfisher feels secure in the knowledge that it's protected enough from threats as it moves towards moving the whole ecosystem towards Windows 7.

"We've done a very large risk assessment on this. It's been the hot topic for a number of months now, and there's no immediate risk there for us. We're quite comfortable where we are," explained Card.

"There are things we've done to mitigate the risk, but it still plays on everybody's minds. We still have to do something about it. But we've got lots of projects running to mitigate that risk or reduce its level at this time," she added.

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