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We recently responded to a media inquiry regarding legacy systems and the importance of keeping them maintained and secure. The interview addressed common industry challenges and also provided insight on how businesses should go about securing legacy systems.

Here is summary of the interview:

Why maintain and secure legacy systems?

The old Wall Street adage is “If it is not broke, do not touch it”. For many, the reason to maintain and secure legacy systems is as simple as that. Seeing that this does not apply in all cases, a more universal reason would be that companies MUST be able to access the data within these systems over time.

Here are a couple of reasons why you need data access:

  1. With an ever-changing regulatory and legal landscape, companies are routinely called upon to produce data under tight time constraints. You need to not only access the data, but also have confidence in the legal value of the data.
  2. Many legacy systems are stacked with valuable business trend data that holds huge potential analytical value. It is not only important to keep the data that can provide that value, but also access that data in modern platforms that can perform these analytical functions.

One of the top challenges we have faced when securing legacy systems refers back to that old Wall Street adage. Just by the nature of maintaining and securing legacy systems, platforms need to be changed. Whether modifying or replacing, significant up and downstream ramifications are likely to occur.

Those ramifications are due to:

  1. Vendor support no longer available
  2. Significant unknown costs
  3. No available in-house subject matter expert

Finally, here is some advice for how to maintain and secure legacy systems. First, have a strong understanding of what you have. You need to not only understand the data, but also the users who access it and its business value to them. Once that is complete, clean and securely purge all data with no business or legal value, and archive both the remaining data and the application within a future-proof platform. Lastly, develop and apply robust Information Governance to protect the integrity of the legacy system and its data.

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What do you think? We would love to hear from you. Feel free to comment below or write us at info[at]infobelt.com

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