The Commission has recently become aware that a number of firms using our Online Services are using software that is no longer supported by the manufacturer and is therefore classed as end-of-life. Software manufacturers do not ordinarily provide security updates (commonly known as patches) for software that is unsupported.
As noted in the Commission’s guidance on cyber security (published on 2nd March 2016) firms must take their responsibilities in respect of cyber security seriously. Unsupported software, and software that is not patched to protect against known vulnerabilities, increases a firm’s exposure to cyber security threats and increases risks relating to the confidentiality, integrity and availability of systems and information.
In relation to our Online Services, the Commission makes efforts to ensure commonly used and supported software is able to be used with our systems. To this end the Commission has recently amended the Online Submissions Portal to allow firm’s using Excel 2007 to upload structured spreadsheet based returns. Microsoft are due to end extended support for Excel 2007 on 10th October 2017 and therefore after this date firms will no longer be able to upload structured spreadsheets updated using Excel 2007 to the Commission’s portal. Firms using Excel 2007 must therefore make appropriate preparations to update their software in advance of this date.
For further information on the software requirements for Online Services please see the links below: