Microsoft will be officially ending extended support for Windows 7 on January 14th 2020.
This means Microsoft will no longer update or support the operating system after that date. Windows 7 was originally released back in July 2009 and is still very popular, meaning there are a lot of people who need to start thinking about upgrading the operating system.
When Windows 7 reaches its End of Life on January 14th 2020, the operating system won’t suddenly stop working but Microsoft will stop releasing updates and patches for the operating system, and likely won’t offer support if you have any issues with the OS.
Although you’ll be able to continue using Windows 7 – it doesn’t mean you should. The main issues following its end of life are that it will no longer receive patches for any new viruses or security issues, leaving you very vulnerable to emerging threats. This could particularly be an issue if a large number of people choose to continue using the OS, as it will encourage cyber criminals to target viruses/malware at Windows 7 users.
There are concerns that similar to Windows XP, businesses will ignore the warnings and continue running Windows 7 despite being aware they will no longer be as protected against cyber threats. It doesn’t matter what antivirus, firewalls etc. your business has in place, without Microsoft releasing security updates, the OS will still be vulnerable.
With GDPR now in effect, the consequences of a successful cyber attack are bigger than ever. With the potential for data loss, huge fines, a damaged reputation, loss of business etc.
You may recall in May 2017 the ransomware attack ‘WannaCry’ where over 20,000 people in 150 countries were infected. It was revealed that networks had been left vulnerable to the attack due to using outdated Windows XP software. There was also another very similar attack called ‘NotPetya’ which also infected Windows XP users.
If businesses continue using Windows 7, cybercriminals will find these vulnerabilities and similar attacks will happen.
What do you need to do?
Despite still having 10 months to go, it’s worth beginning to think about your options when it comes to moving on from Windows 7.
The first thing to consider is upgrading to a newer operating system. For Windows 7 users, the easiest solution is upgrading to Windows 10.
Both operating systems are made by Microsoft, making the upgrade process simpler, resulting in less disruption to your business, and the interfaces are very similar so users shouldn’t find it difficult to adjust.
Of course, upgrading your OS sometimes leads to also needing a hardware refresh if it’s too old to run the new OS so this needs to be taken into account as well.
How can we help?
Xuper can assist with your migration from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and ensure no disruption to your business. Whether it’s one site local, or multiple sites across the globe, we can manage your upgrade. We’ll also assist with upgrading any hardware and if required, provide ongoing support.
You need to be aware of the risks associated with still using the Windows 7 operating system. Businesses are constantly at risk to cyber attacks, and according to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2018, 43% of businesses experienced a cyber breach over the previous 12 months.