Flash: The End is Nigh….

17 Aug Flash: The End is Nigh….

There has been few technologies that split opinion quite like Adobe Flash: celebrated and condemned almost in equal measure. The soon-to-be-deceased technology is, on one hand, the finest malware vector the world has seen. And on the other a cornerstone of the web era, Flash technology has helped shape the web, as the premier media delivery tool for the internet. It is also a bastion to other creative endeavours relied upon in the beginning of game development and animation.


But alas, it will be for no longer. It was announced on July 25th that Adobe plans on ending support for the software which has riddled or roused (depending on your perspective), since 1996. Technology’s top brass, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla have formed an alliance to retire the technology in 2020.


Adobe, bye. But why?


This is two pronged. Simply put, emerging technologies such as HTML 5, WebGL and WebAssembly have matured providing the same features as Flash on more efficient technology. Apple stopped supporting the technology natively since 2010, and it does not feature on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Facebook and Google both issued statements encouraging developers to move over to new technologies. Google pointed to the fact that only 17% of websites are using flash, a number that continues to decrease.


Flash also continues to be a huge security risk, flash having amassed 1,033 unique CVE entries more than Windows XP and internet explorer. For over a decade the Flash player has been a favorite for malicious attackers, attempting to trick users into updates via pop-ups and bogus flash player to infect users with malware.  The opportunity for exploit kits, phishing schemes, and back door entries has been virtually endless.


Flash’s Swiss cheese approach to security, endless updates, and buggy usage mean its departure is well over due. A thought mirrored by Steve Jobs.


Adobe, what’s in it for me?


75% of enterprise companies are still dependent on Flash in some way.


Adobe Flash once was an almost ubiquitous technology, which raises several issues for businesses. Many firms are still using custom-made flash applications, which will be expensive to replace. At the end-of-life in 2020, there is going to vulnerabilities that simply will never be patched, a large security concern. These companies will need to replace their flash applications from scratch with an alternative or face putting their business at risk.


Is your website ready? Not only are business applications needing to redeveloped, websites are also in need of updating and upgrading. If your website has interactive and creative content like high resolutions videos, pictures, and animation – there is a good chance you are still backed by Adobe Flash technology. In the coming months, your website content will become inaccessible as browsers transition from the Flash default. By 2020, it will become unusable and of course a substantial security risk.


If you are looking to upgrade or redevelop wither your Flash applications or web designs elements – speak to a specialist at Aware today.