Windows 7 has been a very popular operating system amongst business and home users, however support will end on 14 January 2020. Whilst you will still be able to use Windows 7 after this date, Microsoft will no longer provide the following:
- Technical support
- Software updates
- Security updates
What are the risks of not upgrading?
If you continue to use Windows 7 you will have no software and security updates, this makes your systems unreliable and at a much greater risk from virus and malware attacks. Some security experts believe that malware developers are holding potential Windows 7 exploits back until support ends, when they will unleash attacks on those systems that are least protected and most vulnerable.
Some businesses may be resistant to change or reluctant to upgrade for financial reasons, but by not upgrading you are taking serious security risks for your business. Running unsupported operating systems may also cause your business to fall foul of compliance standards as they will no longer be receiving security updates, meaning that personal data will not be properly protected.
Risks to your business:
- Reduced security
- Increased risk from virus and malware attacks
- Data loss
- GDPR compliance issues and potential fines
End of Life Server 2008
Windows Server 2008 will also reach end of life on 14 January 2020, which means there will be no security updates from this date, presenting major security risks for businesses who don’t upgrade. Without support your server may also be in breach of regulatory standards and you risk penalties for GDPR non-compliance, which can be very severe. It may also affect your PCI compliance, and you may find that organisations such as major credit card companies will not work with you if you are non-compliant. Upgrading your server may take more time than upgrading your operating system, so it is vital that you plan ahead.
What to do next?
It is recommended that you contact your IT provider who will give advice and guidance on how best to upgrade from Windows 7. Microsoft will not take responsibility for any security breaches that occur to Windows 7 systems after 14 January 2020, so with malware being developed daily it is strongly advised that you upgrade before this date.
Cyber security attacks are becoming more prevalent and sophisticated, running applications and data on unsupported servers such as Server 2008 can create serious security risks and compliance issues. It is important that you get professional IT advice to ensure that your computers and servers are upgraded before support ends.
If you need any help with upgrading your IT systems please contact us for advice on 01603 451810 or firstname.lastname@example.org.