The Dangers of Running an Unsupported OS

Written by

CentOS® 6 end-of-life is coming up in November, which raises an important question for organizations running it and other web server operating systems: what happens if you continue to run it after its end-of-life?

Security-wise, that’s a dangerous prospect. Running an unsupported OS leaves servers open to all sorts of problems and attacks. What sort of dangers does an unsupported OS present, and how can you avoid them? Let’s find out.

Running an Unsupported OS: a Bad Idea

Running a web server without the support of the OS vendor presents major security and uptime problems:

  • Unpatched vulnerabilities: without continued security updates, a web server is increasingly susceptible to new sorts of attacks. New vulnerabilities will be found, but there will be no new patches from the OS vendor to fix them. Sooner or later, the server will get hacked, which will lead users to complain and customers to look elsewhere.
  • Unknown vulnerabilities: when an OS is no longer supported, its vendor has little incentive to look into and disclose vulnerabilities when they’re brought to its attention. This means that vulnerabilities develop that admins do not know about. While they may be unknown to admins, they’re often shared and sold among dark web hackers.
  • Compatibility issues: third-party software applications on an unsupported OS probably aren’t supported either, because their vendors only test them on current Oss. The performance of third-party apps can degrade over time and they can even stop running entirely. This means users are confronted with slow or non-functioning applications.

Can an Unsupported OS Be Safely Run?

In the past, organizations that weren’t ready to migrate to a newer, supported version of an OS just took their chances, and ran substantial risks. Now, that’s not always necessary. In the case of CentOS 6, third-party support makes it possible to run the OS safely, even after its end-of-life.

CloudLinux is offering this extended lifecycle support for CentOS 6. Making it work is easy: just run one command to add a new repository file, and you’ll get kernel security updates for CentOS 6 through June of 2024.

Also, CloudLinux’s support for CentOS 6 includes updates to cPanel and other packages critical for web hosting, such as Apache, PHP, MySQL, glibc, OpenSSL, OpenSSH, Zlib, and more.

How Do I Get CentOS 6 Extended Lifecycle Support?

You can fill out the response form on the CloudLinux CentOS 6 information page. A consultant will get back to you to talk about your organization’s needs, and make the arrangements for CentOS 6 extended lifecycle support.

Brought to you by

What’s hot on Infosecurity Magazine?