Big Tech corporations have driven the final nail into the coffin of Adobe Flash Player. Its “end of life (EoL),” or “death,” if you will, was long expected. As the popular software timed out at the end of 2020, businesses that still house the program in networks would be wise to have it promptly uninstalled. Not only is Flash defunct, but it could create a cybersecurity gap that invites hackers.
Adobe Flash was a relatively commonplace program that drew little attention over its 24-year lifespan. Now that its death certificate has been signed, these are things industry leaders need to know about making funeral arrangements.
1: How Did Adobe Flash Work?
The multimedia software platform was widely recognized for facilitating the mainstream use of animation, video players, vector graphics, and Rich web applications, among others. Of course, its pop-culture claim to fame was that it helped video games and music work.
But as the use of devices and apps increased in business ventures, Adobe evolved with the times. It would enable a wide range of desktop and mobile applications to be coordinated with Flash. These and others would then be used with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and most videogame platforms. Adobe Flash became a standard element in the vast majority of electronic devices and business networks.
2: Adobe Flash Met Its Demise Through Agreement
The EoL of Flash was reportedly not a decision handed down by tech giants. Google, Apple, Mozilla, Microsoft, and Adobe leadership teams agreed that the end of an era was at hand. The decision to let Flash time out was made in 2017. For example, Google Chrome 88 no longer includes Flash, and Adobe has now begun blocking content. Now that the long run is over, support also comes to an end.
3: Adobe Flash May Be Used By Hackers
One issue that hasn’t garnered splashy headlines is that back in 2018, hackers pulled off an attack by exploiting a zero-day vulnerability in Adobe Flash. The problem was dealt with promptly, but the lesson should resonate with industry professionals today. As support ends, it should already be considered an unpatched program.
For those who are not cybersecurity specialists, unpatched software is the equivalent of an open door for online criminals to walk right through. Without updates and fixes, digital thieves find ways to manipulate software and gain entrance to entire networks. Cybersecurity experts routinely patch programs and uninstall outdated ones for this very reason. Adobe Flash cannot be updated or fixed. Therefore, it creates a clear and present danger.
4: Uninstalling Flash Can Be Complicated
Business professionals would be wise to have an IT expert remove the program immediately. If you have yet to secure a third-party firm to manage your system, each operating system requires a slightly different process. Windows PC users can download an Uninstall program from Adobe.
Mac users will need to seek out a different version. There are also several Mac Uninstall programs available, depending on which MacOS version you are using. Tapping Uninstall in each device may not be effective. Because a misstep can leave your network vulnerable, it may be worth erring on the side of caution and working with an IT professional.
5: What Will Replace Adobe Flash Player?
The great technology meteor has effectively rendered Flash extinct, but people who relied on the program need not worry. The three-year EoL rollout appears to be time well spent. Browsers such as Explorer and Chrome, among others, have mechanisms to convert Flash-reliant applications. Alternatives such as HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly, are reportedly already in play.
If you own any electronic device and store valuable or sensitive data, it’s essential to take proactive measures and deal with the Flash issue. Tech giants may have killed it, but you are tasked with the burial arrangements.