IT tips to stay resilient

The recent pandemic has forced change upon many businesses. For some this has created challenges, whereas others have reaped unforeseen benefits from more flexible and efficient ways of working. 

Many organisations have adapted by migrating the running of their business, and the delivery of their services, online.  These strategies have not only facilitated more agile and collaborative working but have provided businesses with greater flexibility to cope with the unexpected.  However, these new working practices have placed an increased dependence on reliable and smooth-running IT systems.

Outlined below are some key areas of your business IT that should be evaluated, so you can run your business effectively and maintain resilience through these unpredictable times.

Leverage technology

It is important to understand how technology can help your business develop and grow but firstly you need to assess whether your current IT is meeting your needs. By aligning your IT with your business objectives will help ensure investment is made in the areas where it will have the greatest impact. If you don’t have the time or inclination to find out what technology is available and appropriate for your business seek expert IT advice, so you avoid making expensive and time-consuming mistakes.

Hardware

Evaluate your hardware, such as computers, to assess if they are fit for purpose.  Slow or unreliable computers can be frustrating and have a serious impact on productivity as well as IT security.  Taking a proactive approach to your IT and fixing issues early before they escalate into bigger problems is always more cost effective in time and money. Ensure that your staff have the right IT equipment to carry out their jobs effectively and ensure that they have been trained how to use it to maximum benefits.

Update software

Keeping your software up-to-date is a vital element of your IT security and will safeguard you from cyber-attacks.  Regularly check that all software is up to date and still supported and remove software that is no longer used, as this will slow it down and affect performance.

To check your MS Windows updates:

Click the START button, choose SETTINGS and then Update & Security

If updates are available, restart it or schedule your restart.

Regular health check

Looking after your computers will help enhance their performance and useful life.  A service, or health check, is a maintenance procedure that helps improve the speed and performance of your computer and ideally should be carried out annually.  It involve a series of tests that will determine:

  • if upgrades are needed
  • presence of viruses or malware
  • if temporary files can be deleted
  • potential issues that require action such as a failing hard drive
  • preventative maintenance such as clearing dust from cooling fans and heatsinks to prevent overheating

Proactive monitoring and maintenance

If your business relies on maximum uptime and security, and you don’t have time to continually check on your computers, you may want to consider a maintenance & monitoring service that provides the following benefits:

  • Protection against viruses and malware
  • Ensures backups are performing successfully
  • Manages updates of Operating System and third party applications
  • Preventative maintenance
  • Offers practical solutions to ensure systems are running efficiently

A monitoring and maintenance solution (like our Bronze Plan) is all handled in the background, so that you and your staff remain productive.

IT Security

During COVID-19 cyber-attacks have become more prevalent and present a major threat to your business. Your IT strategy should outline how to safeguard your company data as well as ensure compliance to current regulations. This should include staff training about the latest cyber security attacks as well as highlighting the importance of vigilance when working online.

Tips to avoid cyber-attacks:

  • Attachments are the most common method of viruses spreading, don’t open attachments from an unreliable or unknown source
  • Do not click on links within emails that you cannot be sure are safe
  • Always read security warnings but research them before agreeing to anything
  • Choose secure passwords and do not share them
  • Be sceptical and aware of phishing scams and don’t give way sensitive data. Phishing is a common way that online accounts are hacked into and can lead to identity theft
  • Read pop-ups before agreeing to anything
  • Limit administrator rights to minimise problems such as unapproved software being downloaded and security settings disabled
  • Set a screensaver with a password to stop unauthorised access to your computer

Robust Back-up

Embedded in your IT Strategy must be a backup solution. If you are affected by a security disaster, such as a major loss of data or failed hard drive, a good recent back up is the fastest way to recover and it will minimise the disruption to your business.

Permissions

Many businesses will have experienced staff changes over this period. If anyone has left the company ensure that user accounts, including online accounts, are disabled.  If roles and responsibilities have changed ensure user permissions are altered accordingly.  It is important to remember that safeguarding against any data breaches is a key element of maintaining GDPR compliance, so check that your staff only have access rights suitable to their position.

IT supports the fundamental operations within a business and can ensure your business thrives. Our IT consultants have the expertise and experience to assess your IT systems and create a plan aligned to your business goals.  For more information please get in touch 01603 451810 | hello@adept-it-solutions.co.uk

 

How to make professional video calls

COVID-19 has forced many of us to start using video calls for work meetings, presentations and even job interviews.  Businesses have realised that video calls can facilitate agile working and reap many benefits. Navigating a video call, however, can be tricky especially if you don’t have much experience.  Here are some ideas to help you look professional, get the most out of them, and even start enjoying them.

Quiet space

Ideally find a quiet place to take the call and use headphones to minimise any background noise.

Wi-fi and power

  • Ensure you have a good wi-fi connection. The closer you are to the router the greater the speed and strength. Alternatively use a home-plug or wireless access points to improve the quality of your internet connection in other areas of your house.
  • Turn-off high-definition video, as this takes up considerably more band-width.
  • Make sure your device is fully charged or plugged in before the video call starts.

Microphone

  • Prior to making a call test your audio clarity and volume to ensure you can be heard easily.
  • Speak clearly, at your normal volume and speed.
  • When you are not speaking mute your microphone as background noise can be distracting and hinder the flow of conversation.
  • Conversely ensure your microphone is on when delivering important information.

Webcam

  • Place your webcam at around eye level and in front of you, so it looks like you are looking at the person you are talking to. Don’t sit too close or far away and have your head and shoulders in view. Avoid strange camera angles that can be unflattering and distracting.
  • Most webcams will enable reasonable video conferencing but to get the best experience you can choose cameras with a wide-angle lens and high-quality video and audio for optimum results.
  • Look into the camera and not at yourself.

Lighting

  • Natural light creates the best effect for video calls, and if this is not possible use a central light or a lamp facing you from behind your computer

Background

  • Your backdrop will reflect your brand. Keep it in line with your company image and remember a simple background will enable people to focus better on you.
  • If you don’t have time to ensure a professional looking backdrop set up a virtual background.

Clothing

  • Wear appropriate clothing that you would normally wear in your workplace. Choose strong dark colours and avoid patterned clothing and elaborate jewellery, which can be distracting.

During a call

  • Keep focused and pay attention so people in the meeting see that you are engaged and interested.
  • Don’t work or attend to emails during the call.
  • Greet the group and introduce yourself unless everyone knows you well.

When to speak

  • Compared to in-person meetings it is more difficult to read the visual cues so it is easy to interrupt. Wait a few moments before speaking in case of time delays. Alternatively agree a visual cue with the group such as putting up your hand when you want to speak.
  • If you’re running the meeting you can call on each person to speak to avoid interruptions and to enable everyone to speak.

Hosting

  • To get the most out of a meeting that is longer than 10 minutes create an agenda. This allows people to prepare beforehand and will facilitate more valuable contributions as well as balancing out the input.
  • If you have regular team meetings via video consider rotating the management of the meeting to enhance collaboration and engagement. It can also help build confidence across the whole team. 
  • At the start of the meeting check that everyone’s audio visual is working and that everyone is ready to begin.
  • Nominate a facilitator for each meeting to keep the meeting focused and in-line with the agenda, ensure objectives are achieved, and that everyone’s voice is heard. 

Sharing information

  • If you need to share a document on the video call warn participants there may be a delay, so they don’t think they have lost connection.
  • If you are going to share your screen during a call, prepare it beforehand to ensure your desktop doesn’t show any sensitive or private information.

With the right technology in place, and good practice, video calls can be made bearable, and can even be enjoyable. They can, however, be more intense and tiring than face to face meetings and so they should be time-limited, with appropriate intervals so people have an opportunity to recover before the next one.

For any technical advice about working from home please contact us on 01603 451810 or hello@adept-it-solutions.co.uk.

 

 

 

How to thrive working from home

The current pandemic has forced many of us to work from home with varying degrees of success.  Some people really flourish with no strict schedule whereas others struggle to be productive and find it hard to motivate themselves.  Now that businesses have set up their staff with home working it looks like there will be a shift in work patterns.  It may take time to work out how best to organise yourself so you can work effectively and keep your sanity; here are a few tips.

Circadian rhythms work when you work best. If you are most energised in the morning this is when you should do the most important tasks, whereas if you are an owl you may start the day with the menial tasks to ease you gently into the day.

Unique perks – embrace the positive aspects of home working. You may find that you have more time, especially if you save time on commuting each day, so why not use this time to learn something new, spend quality time with your family or cook a tasty lunch.

A good workspace is critical for productivity. Find somewhere with minimal distractions, is comfortable and inspiring with enough natural light. If your phone distracts you put it in another room, and if you have children, and it is possible, work in a different room.

Get creative – if you have a mental block step away from your computer, find somewhere different perhaps with a nice view, and use pen and paper to put down your ideas.

Take breaks – to promote your well-being take time-out for yourself away from work and tech – do something enjoyable whether it is intellectual, creative or physical. Research shows that exercise can help you stay focused, and improve your memory, however do something that you enjoy.

Regular working hours – research shows that keeping routines is important to enhance productivity. It also enables you to leave work at the end of the day and helps you maintain a work life balance.

Get your technology sorted

  1. Internet – connectivity is vital so invest in a high-speed internet connection from a reliable provider.
  2. Router – wifi strength and speed diminishes the further you are from your router so consider repositioning it or using wireless access points. You can also try a homeplug that will provide a fast and stable wired connection. Old routers can affect the speed and range so if it is more than 5 years old consider replacing it.
  3. The right hardware and software – make a budget and invest in a good working computer and any other hardware or software to enable you to carry out your job properly. If you are unsure what products would work best for you seek expert advice so you make cost effective choices.
  4. Be proactive – fixing issues early before they escalate into bigger problems is more cost effective in time and money. If your computer is slow or glitchy get it serviced before something catastrophic happens and you can’t work at all.
  5. Proactive monitoring and maintenance service – this will help ensure your computer runs efficiently, securely and with minimal downtime. Our Bronze Plan costs £10/month per device.
  6. Cybersecure – there is a proliferation of adware, spyware and malware so good quality AV software is essential e.g. ESET. Keep up to date with cyber threats, our online Cyber Security Awareness course makes it easy and is only £2/month.
  7. Passwords – keep them strong and unique and change them regularly. Consider using a two step verification process and if you need multiple logins use a password management system like RoboForm or LastPass.
  8. Collaboration tools– technology that facilitates collaboration is extremely important if you are working from home. Sending around multiple copies of the same document for different amendments is fraught with potential problems, such as, keeping track of changes and the latest version. Fortunately, there are many services to assist with this, from Office 365 to Google Drive.
  9. Shared mailboxes – the advantage of sharing a mailbox rather than forwarding emails to your colleagues is that you know when emails have been read, replied to and dealt with, reducing the risk of emails being ignored or multiple replies being sent.
  10. Shared calendars can help improve communication and efficiency. Calendars in Office 365 are continuously synced so the information is up to date, making it easy to plan projects and schedule meetings, even if all your team are working from home.
  11. Virtual meetings – whether you use Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Skype many people are now adept at using apps for virtual meetings. Find a couple of applications that work for you and have the functions that you need for your meetings e.g. screen share function allowing everyone on the call to make notes on the screen, reducing misinterpretations. Train your staff so that meetings are professional and effective.   
  12. Headphones – when you’re on video chat use headphones with a microphone, especially if your home has a lot of background noise.
  13. Group channel – now that you’re not in the office create a place where you and your colleagues can ask questions and everyone can contribute. Discussing things with your colleagues will minimise misinterpretations and make you more productive.
  14. Video messaging -whether you need to present something, ask for assistance, or share something of interest, you can video message your team and they can view it at a time that is convenient for them.
  15. Shared task lists – this is another feature in Office 365 that enhances collaboration and productivity while everyone is working from home. Information is continuously synced so it makes it easy to coordinate activities, prioritise tasks, and meet deadlines.
  16. Second monitor – if you’re used to working with a bigger screen than your laptop has, or find two screens makes it easier to work get another screen or use your television as your desktop or second monitor by using an HDMI cable.
  17. Online training – budgets are tight but there are many free online courses to enable your professional and career development. These government courses are free and designed to improve your digital skills: https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/find-a-course/the-skills-toolkit

Working from home can be very rewarding and improve the quality of your work. However to make it work you need good routines, have the right technology in place and robust IT security.

For more information about how we can improve your home working, or help your business get the right technology to thrive please call 01603 451810 or email hello@adept-it-solutions.co.uk.

Tips to avoid COVID-19 phishing scams

The anxiety around the COVID-19 epidemic is being exploited by cybercriminals who are creating new scams for financial gain. These attackers have been sending out phishing emails pretending to be from legitimate health organisations, charities and government departments.

As the number of cases of the coronavirus have escalated cybercriminals have capitalised on the fear by sending out phishing emails with file downloads promising urgent health and safety advice and infection maps. However, these files contain malware so when they are downloaded your computer will be infected.

Alternatively, the phishing scams will attempt to gain personal information. They may ask you for confidential information to give you personal health advice, or link you to a document asking you to sign in with your email in order to harvest your password.

Examples of COVID-19 phishing emails:

Tax refund
An email claiming to be from the government about a COVID-19 tax refund.  It will redirect you to a phishing page that will attempt to harvest your personal details such as login and password details with the false reward of a tax refund.  In reality there’s no tax relief but you have handed over your personal data to a cyber criminal.

Health and safety information
This phishing scam claims to provide specialist health advice, but when you download the safety measures.pdf it contains a malware-infected file.

COVID-19 Company Policy
This phishing email claims to be from your company and contains information about your company’s policies and response to the pandemic. You will be led to a link in the email, this leads to a fake phishing site with a fake log-in page that will attempt to harvest your email password.

World Health Organisation
This Coronavirus phishing email claims to be from the World Health Organisation, and tries to dupe you into downloading a malware-infected file.

How to stay safe from coronavirus phishing attempts:

  • Unless you have signed up for email alerts from the organisation, it is unlikely that they would send you a direct email
  • If you receive an email claiming to contain important information check that the domain name of the email matches that of the organisation exactly. (e.g. nhsuk.com instead of the correct nhs.uk)
  • Watch out for generic greetings (such as Dear Sir/Madam) and spelling errors
  • Don’t download any file in unexpected emails
  • Avoid clicking links in any unexpected emails
  • Have a suspicious mind – think twice about downloading an attachment, following a link or responding to an unexpected email
  • For up-to-date details about the coronavirus outbreak go directly to the organisation’s website. (https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus ; https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/; https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019)

With our huge reliance on technology, keeping yourself and your employees up-to-date on the latest cyber threats is vital to protect your business. 

Our monthly bite-sized training cost £2 per month. We offer a free two week trial and phishing simulations to demonstrate how your business can benefit.  For more information please get in contact 01603 451810/hello@adept-it-solutions.co.uk.

How agile working can benefit small and growing businesses

agile working

The traditional 9 to 5 working week and communal office is giving way to agile working as more businesses look at new ways to work more effectively. Advances in technology have helped many organisations provide a flexible working environment that enables them to react quickly to change, become more productive and attract the right staff. It is also enabling many organisations to carry on working through the current coronavirus pandemic.

What is agile working?

Agile working empowers people to work where, how and when they want, providing they meet their responsibilities. It’s success relies on businesses trusting their workforce as well as ensuring they have the right technology and processes in place.

When adopting agile working practices it is important to maximise flexibility and minimise constraints, and ensuring that IT systems used are reliable and secure. With all these elements in place, and an internet connection, employees can work on a report or presentation just as easily in the office as they can from home, in a café or on a train.

What are the benefits

Agile working enables employees to work in the way that suits them.  Research has shown that people work more effectively in the right environment and flexible working improves happiness and well-being. Staff are more motivated and work more efficiently, which makes them more productive. It can also help reduce costs in terms of reduced office space and utility costs.

Flexible working can also help retain employees as well as attract the right calibre of staff. You will be opening up jobs to a more diverse range of people who couldn’t have otherwise taken these jobs.

Technology that can help create an agile workplace

Creating a secure and truly agile workplace involves leveraging technology to better collaborate, communicate and track projects. It requires strong and reliable technology that enables your employees to work at different times and from various locations. You can select IT solutions to meet the needs of your business, many are inexpensive and will help increase efficiency. Here are some popular solutions that will enhance agile working and create the flexibility your business needs to thrive.

Office 365 for Business

Office 365 allows you to work on any computer, tablet or mobile phone with an internet connection allowing you to access any file, email or contact whenever and wherever you need it. 

Data is continuously synchronised with Office 365, so everyone is working on the most up to date version of a file or folder, enhancing collaboration across the whole business.

There are many tools in Office 365 to enhance flexible and collaborative working such as shared files, mailboxes and calendars, Microsoft Teams for easy real-time communication, Planner to manage projects, and many more.

LogMeIn

Adept IT Solutions IT contracts include a LogMeIn subscription that enables you to log in to your computer from wherever you are, making it easy to work from home and access all your files from any internet enabled device, if you can’t get into the office.

VoIP

VoIP is a cloud-based phone system that provides a secure and professional telephone service at a fraction of the cost of traditional services.  It also provides huge flexibility as calls can easily be transferred to different locations without extra cost, making it easy to work from any location with an internet connection.

Digital structure

With the help of your IT support provider put together a digital framework so that communication across the business is strong, information is searchable, no-one is isolated, and work can be prioritised and goals met.  

Security and reliability

Every business needs their IT to be secure and reliable in and away from the office. Managed IT Services, such as our Bronze Plan, will monitor your systems to ensure your IT systems run efficiently, securely and with minimal downtime.

Agile working requires a balance of people, process and technology. It is important that your IT is aligned to your business objectives and you have the right technology in place so your employees can carry out their jobs to their best ability, wherever, whenever and however. Introducing more people is not always the answer, allowing your employees to work flexibly can have huge benefits to your business in terms of being able to react to change and operating more cost effectively and efficiently.

If you need help making your business more agile and flexible we would be very happy to discuss your needs, please get in contact: 01603 451810 / hello@adept-it-solutions.co.uk.

12 tips on how to spot scam emails

A heavy reliance on carrying out business online has resulted in an explosion of cyber crime. In 2020 email phishing will continue to be a major form of online attack increasing the need for businesses to be aware of current threats.  Many cyber criminals use AI systems that can automate processes making the attacks prolific, sophisticated and hard to spot.

Your business may have put good IT security in place but cyber criminals will target your weakest link, which is often your employees.  Human error remains the primary cause of data breaches and can result in a major loss of sensitive information.  Keeping your staff trained and up to date with the latest threats should be a key part of your IT security strategy.

We frequently have clients asking if an email is genuine, whilst there are no hard and fast rules double check the details and take head of the following:

  1. Unknown sources – pay close attention to emails from unexpected and unknown sources
  2. Company address – check the company name and email address with an independent online search, is the link a well-known website spelled incorrectly?
  3. Sender address – the display name can be set to appear to be someone you know, but the email address itself is often a giveaway
  4. Generic salutation – what greeting have they used in the main body of the email? Fake emails often use generic terms such as ‘Dear Customer’
  5. Poor grammar – are there grammar and spelling mistakes? Often phishing emails are carried out by non-native speakers
  6. Sign-in requests – is the email asking you to go to a website which then asks you to sign in?
  7. Check the links by hovering the mouse over it – if the address has spelling errors, or the domain doesn’t match the email domain, or a verified sharing device (i.e. dropbox.com or sharepoint.com) it is likely to be fake
  8. Registered email – Is the email they have used for you the one you used to register with the company?
  9. Beware of attachments from unknown people or businesses, if necessary, check with the recipient before opening
  10. Ignore threats, blackmails and warning emails. A genuine urgent threat will be replaced or used in conjunction with a phone call
  11. Be suspicious of appeals and requests for money. Check the veracity of a charity and only donate directly through a website with a secure domain https://
  12. Ignore emails that look too good to be true – emails offering prize winnings or easy money are often a trap

It is crucial that businesses take steps to ensure they are doing all they can to educate employees on current cyber threats. Training staff how to recognise phishing emails is one step towards helping mitigate the risk of a data breach and its devastating effects.

Our cyber security awareness training is computer-based and delivered monthly in engaging bite-sized modules.  It costs £2 per month per user so is affordable for every size of business. For more information please contact us.

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How to create an IT Strategy

Technology is increasingly relied upon to run a business, so it is important to ensure that it is reliable, effective and meeting your business needs.  A good IT strategy will help ensure you have the right IT in place to achieve your business goals.

Key questions when creating an IT Strategy

  • Does your IT meet the current needs of your business?
  • Is your IT being properly managed and monitored?
  • Is it working effectively and reliably?
  • Are your IT security needs being met and is it compliant with current regulations?
  • Is your IT flexible and can it scale to meet future changes?
  • If there is a data breach what solutions are in place to minimise problems?
  • How can you use technology to help the business grow?
  • Are your IT investments providing good ROI?

Elements to include in your IT Strategy

Align your IT with your business objectives

To develop an IT strategy you will need an IT professional who fully understands your business objectives so they can assess whether your current IT systems meet the needs of your business before making recommendations.  IT projects can be expensive and have a big impact, so it is important to get expert advice to ensure you invest in IT solutions that will work effectively for your business.

Leverage technology

When a company invests in the latest technology it can transform the way they work and enhance communication with staff, clients and suppliers.  However investment in the wrong technologies can be expensive and time consuming, always research your options and seek professional advice.  Finding out what IT solutions other companies within your industry sector find useful can be a good starting point.

Security and compliance

Cyber-attacks are becoming more advanced and sophisticated and present a major threat to your business. Robust IT security is important for every business and your IT strategy should outline how to safeguard against online attacks as well as a data breaches, and ensure compliance to current regulations.

Secure BackUp

Embedded in your IT Strategy must be a back up solution. If you are affected by a security disaster, such as a data breach or failed hard drive, a good recent back up is the fastest way to recover and minimise the disruption to your business. It is important that your back up is secure and GDPR compliant such as Office 365. 

IT supports the fundamental operations within a business and can help your business gain a competitive edge by operating more effectively.  When IT fails it can be disastrous and have devastating implications, which is why it is vital that every business has a clear strategic plan to mitigate disaster as well as ensure success.

Our IT consultants have the expertise and experience to assess your IT systems and create a plan aligned to your business objectives.  For more information contact us on 01603 451810 hello@adept-it-solutions.co.uk.

 

Tips for buying a new computer

When looking to buy a new computer you will be faced with a labyrinth of choice and it can be difficult to know which specifications will best meet your needs.  Whether you are buying a computer for your business or home, here are a few things to help you stay focused on your goals as well as your budget.

Budget

The first thing you need to consider is budget, this is often the main constraint but once this is decided you can find the best computer within that price range.

Desktop or Laptop

If you mainly work within your office the general guideline is to get a desktop. If you need to work flexibly, in different locations and on the move then a laptop will be more suitable.

Desktops are usually cheaper than laptops with similar specifications. Desktops are cheaper to repair, more reliable and are easier to upgrade and therefore have a longer usage life.  However many people prefer laptops because they enable flexible working and consume less energy.

All in ones are essentially a computer with all the workings in the back.  As tower speakers are often built in they are more compact and often easy to set up. However they provide less value for money than a desktop and are more costly to fix when they go wrong. 

Processor

If you want a computer that is fast and carries out tasks quickly then invest in a computer with a powerful processor. The performance of the processor is measured in number of cores and speed, for many people 2 cores will suffice but if you have lots of multi-tasking and photo-editing 4 or more cores will enable you to work more efficiently.

RAM

The RAM, or memory, allows your computer to work with on several programmes simultaneously.  The more RAM you have the faster your computer will work, for Windows 10 you should have at least 4GB for it to run smoothly.  If you like to surf smoothly between email, internet and other programmes 8GB is the ideal amount.  If you edit photos or videos and intend to use any CAD software you will need at least 16GB. 

Hard Drive

The larger your hard drive the more space you have to store files.  Standard computers come with 250GB to 750GB but if you store most of your documents in the Cloud you won’t need more than 250GB.  If you need more space later down the line you can buy an external hard drive to transfer or store files, or upgrade to a larger hard drive.  The spin speed of your hard drive will determine how quickly data is transferred, so if speed is important choose an SSD (solid state drive) will be faster than an HDD.

Operating Systems

Most people chose an operating system that they are familiar with such as Windows 10 or MAC OSX.  Linux is another option but more complex and therefore less popular. 

If you would like us to find you a computer that meets your needs and budget please call 01603 451810 or email hello@adept-it-solutions.co.uk.

 

End of support for Windows 7 – what does it mean for your business?

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 hello@adept-it-solutions.co.uk.