The big picture: Western Digital announced last week that it's dropping support for older versions of My Cloud OS, the software used for managing My Cloud drives. As a result, drive owners still running older firmware versions - My Cloud OS 3 and prior - have been strongly advised to upgrade their compatible models to My Cloud OS 5 by mid-January in order to receive security fixes, tech support and retain remote access capability. Meanwhile, drives unable to upgrade will stop receiving security fixes and support for their older firmware by mid-April.

Having a ‘connected’ drive you’re likely keeping for backup isn’t ideal in terms of data security; however, the feature is certainly convenient for users who want access to their content across more devices and places. To that end, WD recently put out a security update, in which it ‘strongly’ encouraged owners of My Cloud drives to upgrade to the latest firmware so that they can continue to remotely access their drives and receive security fixes in the future.

The development follows WD’s decision to end support for older My Cloud OS versions to keep up with evolving security standards. The company also shared a list of drives compatible with My Cloud OS 5, and a guide to upgrading to the latest firmware.

NAS models like the My Cloud EX2 Ultra and PR2100 are upgradeable, while ‘not supported’ models include the likes of My Book Live/Live Duo series that came under attack earlier this year, forcing users to unplug their drives from the internet for safety.

In fact, WD has similar advice to owners of incompatible models, noting that drives running on My Cloud OS 3 and older should be backed up, disconnected from the internet. and protected with a strong password as their firmware will stop receiving security fixes and tech support after April 15, 2022.

There is a slight consolation for incompatible My Cloud owners, as noted by Bleeping Computer. WD looks to entice such users with a 20 percent discount coupon, which will be emailed to them next month and will apply to select WD models that include the My Cloud Home 8TB, My Book 12TB and the EX2 Ultra (16TB, 24TB, 28TB).