London’s Metropolitan Police are still using Windows XP PCs

Our police force no longer looks like the picture above, but the might as well, as they still use an operating system which dates from that era.  As of June 2017 the London Metropolitan police service was still using 18,000 Windows XP PCs, and to date they have not managed to upgrade all of them yet, presenting a significant security risk to the data the police service collects as part of their day to day duties.

Windows XP exited support in 2014, and the risks related to its ongoing use was highlighted by the Wannacry ransomware attack early last year, which crippled public services for a period in UK.

The good news is that upgrade work is ongoing, and the Met expects to complete it by May this year.

The rollout “will finish around the April-May time”, said Angus McCallum, chief information officer of the Met, by which time the force “will be off XP.”

McCallumn defended the Met’s progress in the matter, noting that 50,000 PCs had to be upgraded to the latest operating system and that the Met was in the process of upgrading their IT services in general, by issuing tablets and laptops to staff to improve their mobility.

“To give you an idea of the speed of the rollout, last week we rolled out 1,687 tablets,” McCallum said, “so we’re moving at pace now.”

The force was also piloting cloud collaboration tools.

“What we really wanted was a collaboration tool so we can share securely information with third-parties that can be structured appropriately,” he said. “We can make sure it’s in the right folders, we can make sure it’s not being stored in email, et cetera.”

“Rather than them saying ‘I’ve seen something on the CCTV, do you want to come and collect a CD’, they send us a link. That saves a lot of time, it’s just sent electronically to our control room.

“The officer picks it up straight away, he can look at it, he can determine if there’s a crime there or not.”

Interestingly despite all this progress, by May there will still be some PCs leftover running Windows XP,  but those”won’t be on the network”.

It seems Windows XP in the end, is the OS which simply refuses to die.

via The Inquirer

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