Online giant Microsoft has recently announced that support for their Windows 7 operating system will be ending in the not too distant future. From 14th January 2020, Microsoft will no longer offer support for customers using their Windows 7 systems. Not only will support no longer be available but you will stop receiving any updates to your machine, making it a huge security risk.
Here’s the official statement from Microsoft;"Microsoft made a commitment to provide ten years of product support for Windows 7 when it was released on October 22, 2009. When this 10-year period ends, Microsoft will discontinue Windows 7 support so that they can focus our investment on supporting newer technologies and great new experiences. The specific end of support day for Windows 7 will be January 14, 2020. After that, technical assistance and automatic updates that help protect your PC will no longer be made available for the product. Microsoft strongly recommends 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 should you do?In short, by January 2020 none of your machines should be running Windows 7 and should be upgraded to the latest Windows operating system Windows 10. Moving to a new operating system takes time and proper planning, especially if it’s across multiple machines. Here’s a five-point plan to make sure your business is ready for the switchover;
- Go through all the machines in your workplace and identify which ones are using Windows 7.
- Identify and consider replacing legacy systems using older operating systems and software with updated technology.
- Draw up a detailed timeline and budget for replacing and upgrading old hardware.
- Implement special security measures for machines that are unable to be upgraded from Windows 7.
- Draw up a plan for your employees to take the time to undergo training on the new system.
What are the consequences if you don’t upgrade?You may think this isn’t that important and don’t want the hassle of moving, but if you stay with Windows 7, you become a high cyber security risk to your business. You only have to look at the damage that was caused by the WannaCry attacks in May 2017 to see what could happen. That attack exploited unpatched Windows XP machines to gain access into systems and demand payments for people to regain access. By running an operating system that doesn’t receive the latest updates and security patches you’re an open-door target to cyber criminals.
If the lock on your front door broke, you would replace it straight away. So why not do the same with your business data?