Technology marches on and evolves at a rapid pace. And part of that evolution is leaving behind outdated technologies, even those that may have been popular in their prime. Two names that used to be big in the online world are being phased out as we enter a new year. Both Flash and Internet Explorer have either already lost or will lose important support in the coming months. An important part of keeping your small business IT secure and productive is knowing when technology is reaching the end of life or losing support from other applications. This ensures your workflows can be updated before an older technology leaves you at risk of a breach or other problems. What can happen if your employees continue using outdated components on their computer?
- Security breaches due to vulnerabilities no longer being patched
- Degraded experience in some software programs
- Loss of ability to access cloud-based work apps from certain browsers
We’ll go through what you need to know about Adobe Flash Player and Internet Explorer (IE) and why both of these components should be removed from work devices or phased out as soon as possible.
Flash Support Ended December 31, 2020
Flash used to be deployed extensively throughout the internet for website animations, menus, online games, and more. But technologies like HTML5 have been replacing the app’s usefulness over the last several years. When 2020 ended it not only brought the “pandemic year” to a close, it also was the end of the Flash Player. On 12/31/2020, Adobe Flash Player reached the end of life (EOL), meaning that Adobe no longer supports the player with any feature or vital security updates. This leaves any computers that still have the Flash browser extension installed at risk of a breach. Additionally, if you happen to use any Flash components on your website, these will soon no longer work. On January 12, 2021, Adobe will begin blocking flash content from running in Flash Player.
What You Need to Do
It’s important to uninstall Flash as soon as possible on any business device. Make sure to include devices for telecommuting employees to ensure they’re secure as well. If you use Flash on your website, this should also be removed, and any Flash files are taken off your web server so it’s not vulnerable to a hack. Employees should also be warned not to download Flash Player from any 3rd party sites that might still offer the installation file for download.
Microsoft & Google to End Support for IE 11
Internet Explorer once used to be the main internet browser that the world used. But after roughly two decades of advances and the release of many other web browsers, it’s reaching the end of the road. Currently, IE 11 is still receiving security updates. Microsoft notes that Internet Explorer is a component of Windows, so it has the lifecycle of the operating system it’s installed upon. However, it might as well be EOL for many businesses because it’s losing (or lost) support from some major applications, including Microsoft 365, Gmail, and Google Workspace apps. Here’s a rundown of the dates related to loss of support for IE 11.
November 30, 2020 – Microsoft Teams Drops Support for IE
Microsoft Teams has already stopped supporting the use of the application in Internet Explorer. This means that web-based video calls or the Teams web application will no longer work correctly in the browser. If you use Teams with those outside your organization, it’s a good idea to add a note to your video meeting invitations that IE is no longer a supported browser.
March 15, 2021 – Google Workspace Drops Support for IE
In Mid-March, Gmail, Docs, Sheets, and other Google Workspace applications will no longer work in IE 11. Users are most likely already seeing a banner if they use the application warning them of the upcoming loss of support.
August 17, 2021 – Microsoft 365 Drops Support for IE
In August of 2021, the rest of the Microsoft 365 applications and services will stop supporting Internet Explorer. Microsoft notes that users may lose access altogether if using the IE 11 browser to try to access M365 web-based applications. They may also get a degraded experience, which can range from the inability to access new features to some features no longer working in the browser.
IE Mode in Microsoft Edge
If your business happens to need IE for some legacy websites that only run in that browser, you do have an option that can still allow you to remove IE from computers and use a one-browser workflow. The Chromium version of Microsoft Edge has a built-in IE mode, that you can switch into when you need to view a legacy IE website.
Are Your Devices Cleaned of Outdated Technology?
Outdated technology hiding on a network-connected device can leave your entire network at risk. Managed IT Asia offers managed security services and cybersecurity assessments to help you ensure your devices are properly protected. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. Call +65 6748 8776 or reach us online.
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