The Reserve Bank of India has cautioned banks to take immediate steps to implement appropriate systems and controls if their systems, including ATMs, are still working on Windows XP.
This caution follows reports that Microsoft will stop issuing updates and patches for bugs in its Windows XP operating system (OS) from April 8, 2014.
If the updates and patches for bugs are stopped, then the probability of attacks on systems based on Windows XP OS may increase and it may be difficult to defend such attacks in the absence of Microsoft support.
According to a study conducted by market consulting and analytics firm Ascentius Consulting, over 34,000 branches of public sector banks are at risk.
This means using Windows XP in their computers after April 8 would expose the users to potential security and compliance risks. After the deadline, Microsoft will not provide any new security updates, or online technical content updates for the operating system.