Risky Business: Why You Can’t Ignore Microsoft End of Life

Why You Can't Ignore Microsoft End of LifeThink back to the technology you used in 2009. There were no smart assistants like Siri, you probably had a slider or flip phone and you couldn’t share images of your dinner on Instagram.

It’s probably not a world you want to return to, but if you use Windows 7 and Server 2008, that’s the environment your business operates in.

If that brief trip down memory lane isn’t enough to push you into action, End of Life (EOL) will. On January 14, 2020, support and security patches cease for Windows 7 and Server 2008 and your exposure to risk increases. It’s a phase all Microsoft products eventually enter because the company needs to devote resources to new initiatives. Neglecting EOL won’t make it disappear. To make an informed, strategic decision about how to manage Windows EOL, you need to know how it affects your business.

3 Risks of Ignoring Microsoft End of Life

1. Compliance Concerns

Businesses using Microsoft products past EOL will not be able to prove their systems are secure and pass an audit. If you need to comply with FDIC, OCC or any other regulatory requirements, it is imperative that you stop using Windows 7 and Server 2008 before January 14, 2020.

2. Hackers Will Exploit Unsupported Software

Even if you aren’t required to meet compliance regulations you owe it to your clients to maintain high operating standards. As recent reporting in The Kansas City Star shows, consumers are increasingly focusing on data breaches and holding organizations accountable for keeping their information confidential.

After EOL, Windows 7 and Server 2008 will be increasingly vulnerable to hackers, posing a threat to your organization and data. These operating systems lack the advanced threat protection of later releases like Windows 10 and Server 2019.

3. Incompatibility and Downtime

Ignoring EOL can create issues when you want to take advantage of hardware and software innovations. Newer versions of line-of-business applications may not run on Windows 7 or Server 2008. Your devices might not communicate with the old operating systems or run slowly. You’ll increase downtime – troubleshooting technology instead of driving your business forward.

Advantages of Updating Your Systems

Under the right circumstances technology accelerates your business. As explained above, EOL becomes a serious liability when ignored but if you plan ahead there are plenty of advantages.

We recommend that you plan to move to Windows 10 and Server 2019 with comprehensive security solutions like:

  • Identity Access & Management
  • Advanced Threat Protection
  • Information Protection

To replicate these robust features on Windows 7, you’d need to rely on multiple third-party applications.

Plus, for any business with plans to explore cloud-based services like Office 365, these newer operating systems offer necessary support and integrations during and after deployment. You’ll be able to centrally manage accounts, devices and information, increasing transparency and productivity for your entire organization.

How to Prepare for Microsoft End of Live

Proper preparation prevents poor technology performance. Unlike an update for your computer that can be completed easily during your lunch break, a migration requires careful planning.

Here are the 3 steps to prepare for Microsoft’s end of support:

  1. Check your line-of-business applications to ensure they will continue to function properly with the new operating systems. If you do not update them regularly, they may not work after you migrate. Compliance regulations require you to use the current version of your business applications. Don’t wait and be caught out of compliance.
  2. Review your hardware devices. Old machines can run new technology but you may notice significant degradation in productivity because they weren’t built for new software capabilities. Employees will be frustrated by how long it takes to complete simple tasks.
  3. Schedule a time to complete the migration. The steps will take time and you want to minimize the disruption to your business. Look at your calendar now and consider dates when you’re scheduled to be closed or less busy. Then call your provider to get your migration booked on your joint calendars.

At Network Tech we carefully review your applications and hardware, consult with you, then define and test migration plans to ensure a seamless transition. To schedule your migration contact us online or call 913-538-7700 today.