End of an Era!
The fall of the Java Plug-In and what it means for your business.
One of the biggest changes to the technical and online world is coming soon. Oracle have announced that they will be discontinuing their Java browser plug-in.
Similar changes have occurred over the past few months with many browsers such as Chrome choosing to block plug-ins such as Flash due to security risks.
Some may not see this news as shocking and many will not understand it so look at it like this; Windows XP support was completely discontinued on April 8th 2014, which caused chaos, panic and trouble for businesses all over the world who still ran entire operations on XP. Being discontinued means that the software or operating system in that case will no longer be supported by the creator. This means no new patches or security updates. The digital world we live in today is constantly evolving and changing in every aspect – that includes hackers, viruses, code and more. In order for an operating system or piece of software to stay secure and safe it requires constant updates from the manufacturer.
Whilst this plug-in isn’t an operating system, the scale of its use is massive.
Here are some stats:
– 97% of enterprise desktops run Java of some kind
– there are over 3 billion mobile devices that run Java
– it’s considered the number 1 choice for developers and as a development platform worldwide.
This article will run down what the Java plug-in does and what the effects of it being discontinued could have on your business.
Why is it being discontinued?
The simple answer is that in modern times, the plug-in is more of a security risk than a help. With the coming of HTML5 a wide variety of plugins including Flash, Silverlight and Java have been widely removed from the most popular browsers, through no choice of the user. They are seen by security experts as somewhat of a backdoor into a user’s computer, with the growing threat of Trojan horses and identity theft, many companies are moving away from the embedded plug-in way of life and into a bright and shiny open source HTML5 future.
Why can this affect YOUR business?
At Amica we have a wide variety of clients that run Java based web applications to run their business. These range from data miners and accounting tools to HR and time monitoring systems, to name a few.
Due to the fact that Oracle are considerate and have decided to gradually remove the Java plug-in (and even offer an alternative eventually), manufacturers have been given an opportunity to upgrade or migrate their platforms and applications to different technologies, but that doesn’t mean they will take that opportunity.
This means that in the very near future your business could be running an entire shop of accountants (for example) using a web based java application that is now vulnerable to infiltration and attack. The longer these java-plug ins are run without support, the more holes seemingly appear in the underlying system and the threat of a breach of security, or worse increases.
So what do you do?
We’re lucky here because we’ve been given some time to plan things out before everything shifts away from plug-ins.
If your manufacturer isn’t willing to change things on their end, in order to protect your business, the best bet is to move over to a new platform. This can be expensive and time consuming but you have to take into account the risk that you will face if changes aren’t made.
Amica are always at hand to offer friendly advice on what to do in situations like this, as well as be hands on and ready to help with anything you may need, whether it’s moving application platforms around or simply having a one to one conversation with your supplier to go over the options.