Adobe have announced that ‘In collaboration with several of our technology partners including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla – Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats.’
On December 31, 2020, Adobe Systems will officially stop updating and distributing Adobe Flash. Neglecting to convert Flash to HTML5 will have implications for a number of industries. Education and e-learning will experience a significant technical debt from this decision. There are a number of issues facing online courses that will need to be mapped out and risk management plans put into place.
Flash Security Concerns
Adobe Flash is not the most secure product to begin with. While Adobe has made strides in keeping up with patching zero-day exploits, they have traditionally been slow to respond to critical vulnerabilities.
It is also very difficult to maintain an effective patching program for Adobe Flash. Most internal IT departments and external managed service providers have software that will manage the patch infrastructure for Windows, but often they require a special solution to patch any of the Adobe products.
With end of life for Flash, there will be no more security updates. This means any new security exploits will not be given updates creating a gap in any company’s network security.
Google Chrome discontinued the use of Adobe Flash in update 53 of their browser. While the software can still be enabled through Chrome settings, Google has confirmed that effective the date of end of life for Flash, Google will completely block Flash from being able to run under the Chrome browser.
Mozilla (Firefox) discontinued support by default for Adobe Flash in the middle of 2016, citing the excessive security vulnerabilities that Flash was continuing to patch for. At the end of 2020, Mozilla will also block Flash.
And finally, Internet Explorer will also discontinue and block Adobe Flash at the end of life date. With all three of the major browsers ending support and blocking Flash from running at all, there will be no viable way to deliver online course content with Flash present.
Praxis42 has been planning for the demise of Adobe Flash for some time and worked in close partnership with their clients to convert the legacy Flash based courses into HTML5 with accessibility features enabled and sound provided to aid learning. The benefits of HTML5 courses and modern learning demands is that they’re able to perform across all devices and operating systems meeting the expectation of learning on demand.