The end is nigh for Windows 7

Windows through the years

The end is nigh for Windows 7

The king is dead, long live the king!

It’s almost here… finally time for the much loved Windows 7 operating system to be retired. Microsoft, in a move to drive its customers towards greater levels of security in this threat-filled cyber world, have announced that a number of their aging software platforms will reach end-of-life from January 2020. Much like the end of Windows XP back in 2014, Microsoft will cease to provide updates & security patches to the range of software deemed to having reached the end of its life.

During 2020 the following all reach the end of their life, starting with Windows 7 in the January:

  • Windows 7
  • Small Business Server 2011
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Exchange 2010
  • Office 2010

 

What does this mean to my business?

A massive volume of us globally continue to rely on one or more of these core Microsoft platforms, meaning that the likelihood of this change being relevant to your business is quite high.

As mentioned above, the end-of-life of these systems means that Microsoft will no longer be generating software patches and security updates, resulting in the computers (and data held on them) being far less secure.

With an almost overnight increase in the state of vulnerability from cyber security threats, and therefore an increased risk to attack & potential loss of personal data, users that continue to work on these old platforms will become automatically non-compliant to GDPR legislation.

 

How can I find out if i’ll be affected?

If you have replaced the majority of your IT system within the past 4 years or so, there’s a good chance you’re in the clear. Those businesses using at least Windows 8 or 1-0 across their laptops & desktops, working from platforms such as Office 365 and Azure, will most likely have moved away entirely from the list of software being killed-off in 2020.

If you still rely on a server that’s 5-6+ years old, use few or no cloud platforms, and have computers that are 4+ years old then there’s a strong chance that your business is at risk and needs to start planning & budgeting now for this change.

 

How can I find out whether we’re using this software in the office?

There are a few tell tale signs to help identify whether you are reliant on any of these software platforms.

Which platforms?

 

What do I need to do?

Keeping ahead of such large-scale technology changes will not only protect your business, but ensure you can plan time & make a budget for this inevitable IT project. Planning for both the disruption and cost for a time that suits you, as opposed to getting caught out at the last minute; rushing to complete the change upon reaching the deadline, (or dangerously), after the deadline when you’ll have become non-GDPR compliant and potentially at high-risk of, or worse, have suffered from a cyber hack & loss of data.

Seek advice from your IT professionals to plan & prepare to get ahead. Get in touch today for free advice & guidance – firstly to identify if you are at risk, and help budget for the affected systems that will need upgrading / replacing, or how to implement cloud technology to keep your business ahead.

 

Need some support for peace of mind?

We can help. We offer free assessments to businesses across the West Midlands, from our base in Staffordshire.

Initial IT provides a full range of professional IT services, including a full suite of cyber security products, including support with Cyber Essentials & GDPR Gap Analysis.

Please contact the team today on 03330 508 247 or complete our contact form.

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