Are you prepared?
Windows 7 has now been with us since 2009. It’s probably one of the most liked of all recent releases of the Microsoft Windows Operating Systems.
In January 2020, Microsoft will end the extended support for the Windows 7 Operating System, which means that they will no longer patch any security vulnerabilities found after that date.
Microsoft has stated that they: “strongly recommend that you move to Windows 10 sometime before January 2020 to avoid a situation where you need service or support that is no longer available.”
What does that mean for your business?
This basically means that all technical assistance and automatic updates that currently help to protect your PC will no longer be available. We understand that the end of life for a software product can be a significant challenge for businesses.
Don’t believe us? Consider this:
When Microsoft ended support for its popular Windows XP product in 2014, it affected 40% of the world’s computers. That’s 40% of one billion computers worldwide. In a world where cyber-security threats are on the increase, sticking with Windows 7 means you are extremely vulnerable as a business.
What if I don’t upgrade or replace my machines by 2020?
Imagine using a product that a company doesn’t want to take responsibility for anymore. You’ll be using the product at your own risk. This means that Microsoft will not take responsibility for loss of data due to security breaches on Windows 7.
Computer threats are now developed daily. Although there is technically nothing stopping you from continuing to use Windows 7, it’s important to understand that continuing to use it will expose your business and make your data vulnerable. Without regular patches and security updates, you’re basically at the mercy of hackers.
Although 2020 seems a long way off, businesses should now plan their approach to replace or upgrade any machines running Windows 7 before this date.
Still sceptical? Remember the NHS 2017 Cyber Attack?
Do you remember the NHS Cyber Attack in 2017? It’s also known as the WannaCry attack, and it’s a prime example of what can happen when your systems aren’t in current vendor support. The WannaCry attack in 2017 leveraged vulnerabilities in unpatched and unsupported operating systems and spread the infection throughout the NHS, amongst many others throughout the world. It left the NHS with a whopping £72 million IT bill, and massive costs on patients who received incorrect treatments, had ambulances delayed, and appointments cancelled.
What shall I do?
The passing of this product I’m sure will be mourned by many users; according to NetMarketShare’s September 2018 data, over 40% of desktop users are still using Windows 7. That’s the equivalent of up to 184 million commercial PC’s still using the software.
At ITCS, we have already upgraded many of our customers to the replacement Windows 10 platform, and although the user interface is quite a step change from what customers were used to, it has proved to be a stable and secure platform. In addition to the usual Microsoft offerings, the professional versions allow the planned encryption of your hard drives to protect the information they contain in the event of loss or theft ‑ a must in today’s post GDPR environment for an increasingly mobile workforce.
If you haven’t upgraded yet, it’s best to seek the help of an IT professional. This is a good way to ensure that everything is upgraded correctly and that all firewalls and antivirus are in place and working optimally. Depending on what type of hardware and software you’re using, you may need to take specific steps to make sure everything is fully compatible.
To meet with a member of our team or discuss your needs, please contact the ITCS support desk on 08456 400200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.