Browse Definitions :
Definition

security through obsolescence

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Security through obsolescence is the use of obsolete technologies whose vulnerabilities are no longer well known among the public.

Less common or obsolete software has fewer issues with malware as it lacks the market share that would make it attractive to a hacker. Furthermore, obsolete systems can be difficult for an attacker to target as the design, flaws, protocols and even programming may have fallen out of common knowledge.

Although security through obscurity is generally deprecated, security through obsolescence is still sometimes used in networking, such as the use of antiquated X.25 networks by ATMs.

Security through obsolesce, like security through minority is a strategy best confined to closed source software. While there are rare and obsolete variants of open source software, their source code is publicly available so that it is much easier for an attacker to find vulnerabilities.

Obsolete but still heavily used software can be about the worst possible option, however. Software at the end of a long lifespan, such as Windows XP, can provide a large target base. There is likely to be existing malware targeting it, while patches and support may have been discontinued.

This was last updated in July 2015

Continue Reading About security through obsolescence

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

Wow, I've never heard of that one before. I guess that's sort of a backhanded advantage to working for a company that's too poor or too cheap to use modern technology.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

  • compliance as a service (CaaS)

    Compliance as a Service (CaaS) is a cloud service service level agreement (SLA) that specified how a managed service provider (...

  • data protection impact assessment (DPIA)

    A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is a process designed to help organizations determine how data processing systems, ...

SearchSecurity

  • spyware

    Spyware is a type of malicious software -- or malware -- that is installed on a computing device without the end user's knowledge.

  • application whitelisting

    Application whitelisting is the practice of specifying an index of approved software applications or executable files that are ...

  • botnet

    A botnet is a collection of internet-connected devices, which may include PCs, servers, mobile devices and internet of things ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an ...

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

SearchStorage

  • DRAM (dynamic random access memory)

    Dynamic random access memory (DRAM) is a type of semiconductor memory that is typically used for the data or program code needed ...

  • RAID 10 (RAID 1+0)

    RAID 10, also known as RAID 1+0, is a RAID configuration that combines disk mirroring and disk striping to protect data.

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

Close