Are Your Business Computers Ready for the Loss of Support for Flash & IE 11?

Are Your Business Computers Ready for the Loss of Support for Flash & IE 11?

One of the ongoing IT management tasks that companies need to keep up with to ensure network security is when certain software or components are reaching end of life or losing support. 

When certain components reach their sunset days in the IT world, it can leave companies at risk if they don’t remove them from their systems. Additionally, when a browser loses support from major applications, it can seriously impact a company’s workflows and productivity.

Two components that were on nearly every user computer in their heyday, are Adobe Flash Player and Internet Explorer. While they had a great run, the internet world is turning the page and putting both out to pasture.

If you have business computers using out-of-date applications, it can leave you at increased risk of a malware infection or data breach. This is especially true when it comes to software that’s reached end of life (EOL), which means it’s no longer being supported by vital security updates and patches.

In 2019, 60% of data breaches were due to unpatched system vulnerabilities. 

And it turns out that it’s not all that uncommon for older computers to have outdated software or components on them.

In a Microsoft study, it was found that over 40% of older PC’s were still using older versions of Windows, such as Windows 7, which reached end of life (and loss of security update support) back in January of 2020.

Here’s what you need to do if any of the PCs used for your business processes are still using the Adobe Flash Player or Internet Explorer.

Adobe Flash Player Has Now Reached EOL

Adobe’s Flash Player reached end of life on December 31, 2020. This means that it’s no longer being supported and no longer receiving security updates.

As of January 12, 2020, Adobe will also block all Flash content from running in the Flash Player to further encourage people to stop using the application. 

Flash was used for years as the way to bring animations and video elements to webpages as well as for multiple online games. But newer technologies have pushed the technology out over the years, making it less relevant.

Any Mac or Windows PCs that still have the Flash Player should have it uninstalled as soon as possible. Because Flash Player has a browser extension, it’s important to ensure it’s uninstalled for any browsers on a system. 

Some users may have used more than one browser, so all on a device might have the Flash Player extension and need to have it removed.

Internet Explorer 11 Is Losing Major Application Support

Internet Explorer 11 hasn’t yet reached end of life, however it might as well have for many organizations because of the loss of application support by major SaaS services.

Microsoft brought out Edge several years ago, and since that time, IE’s days have been numbered. It retains the EOL of the operating system it’s installed on, so it will still receive security patches as long as Windows 10 is around.

But it’s already lost support from a major Microsoft Application, and 2021 is going to see it becoming much less relevant and more problematic to use.

Here’s a rundown of applications that already have or are going to drop IE 11 support in the near future.

Microsoft Teams: Stopped Support for IE on 11/30/2020

On November 30, 2020, Microsoft Teams dropped support for IE 11. This means that those trying to connect online to Teams meetings or chats, will have major problems with the interface.

Those that want to use Teams should use the desktop app or a more modern browser, like Microsoft Edge or Chrome.

Additionally, companies may want to include a note with their Teams meeting invitations that IE 11 is no longer supported.

Google Workspace: Will Stop Support for IE on 3/15/2021

Those that use Gmail, Google Docs, Sheets, Calendar or any other Google Workspace (formerly called G Suite) apps, will find they stop working as expected in IE 11 on March 15, 2021.

Google users that currently use IE 11, will begin seeing a banner from Google warning them about the impending loss of support. 

Microsoft 365: Will Stop Support for IE on 8/17/2021

Another big blow for Microsoft 365 users that use IE 11 will come on August 17, 2021. This is when the rest of the Microsoft 365 applications will stop support for Internet Explorer.

This means that companies will be left with very few options for productivity tools if they continue using IE 11 in their workflows.

It’s important to identify any users you have that are still using IE in their workflow and ensure they’re upgraded to a new browser (Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari (for Macs)) before the loss of support negatively impacts their workflow.

Get Help Cleaning Your Systems of Outdated Technologies

Unity IT can help your Fresno area business ensure your employee workstations and laptops are secure by scanning them for and removing any EOL systems. 

Contact us today to schedule a technology consultation at 559-297-1007 or reach out online.