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Dealers warned of Windows 7 security risk

Car dealers using Windows 7 could be at risk of having their computer systems attacked by viruses or hackers as Microsoft no longer supports the operating system.

More than a third of dealers (37%) using iVendi still use the software, which no longer receives official security updates.

This leaves consumer data potentially vulnerable to attack through viruses and malware, explained James Tew, CEO at the online motor finance business.

He said: “We have several thousand dealerships using our products in the UK, providing a good cross-section across franchises, independents and car supermarkets so our figure is, we believe, probably broadly representative of the total market.

“While this doesn’t affect the data security of our online motor retail products, which run within a browser environment, we can track which version of Windows is installed on each PC used to access our systems from our data analytics.”

If a security vulnerability is exposed in Windows 7 in the future no patches will be made available to resolve the problem. In IT terms, it’s a leaky boat that is only going to take on more water as time passes, Tew explained.

“We’d urge dealers to seriously consider upgrading to a newer operating system. Microsoft is advising people to adopt Windows 10, which can be done at a reasonable cost and, as long as your hardware is capable of running it, this seems like the simplest route to resolving the problem,” he added.

IVendi believes that quite a number of dealers have stayed with old technology because they are operating a variety of legacy systems that do not work on newer versions of Windows.

These dealers may have to update not just Windows but change a range of software that they need to operate their business.

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