Not too long ago, we shared a blog that discussed how Windows 7 isn’t going to be a viable option very much longer. We wanted to be sure that there was no misconceptions remaining as to how important it is to update your business’ systems to Windows 10. That’s why we’re taking the time to go a little further into why an update is the only real path for your business.
When any solution reaches its End of Life, as Windows 7 is scheduled to, it essentially means that the developer has given up on maintaining it in favor of its more recent solutions. Basically, upkeep of the solution becomes too much of a challenge for the developer to practically and economically keep up with.
Once a software title has reached its EOL, there are various potential issues that set in more or less immediately. Primarily, the developer no longer will release any security improvements for that title. This leaves the software in question vulnerable to any threat made from that point on.
Consider what this could mean for your business, and all of the data it holds - especially that data that your clients have entrusted you with.
Let’s consider a very possible hypothetical situation: you decide to stick with Windows 7 in your business’ workstations past January 14th. However, on January 21, a new exploit is discovered. Since your workstations are no longer receiving security updates, there is nothing to stop this exploit from being leveraged against your business. By February 3rd, the financial and personally identifiable information of your clients has been stolen, putting your clients at risk.
While it may not happen as soon as February 3rd, make no mistake, it is going to if you utilize outdated technology solutions. It may not even take that long.
Statistically, you will be breached, and both the business and its clients will suffer for it.
You also need to consider if you are beholden to any industry-specific regulations. Trying to remain on Windows 7 after its EOL date will make you noncompliant, assuming you aren’t already.
We offer a variety of security services to help ensure your data remains protected. Between keeping your employees from accessing unsafe or inappropriate online content with our Web Filtering and Firewall services to our all-inclusive Unified Threat Management solution, we can help protect your business from threats and other issues. We also offer Data Backup and Recovery solutions, to help ensure that (if something were to happen to your data) you wouldn’t be starting again from square one.
However, once you start using unsupported software, these security measures can only do so much to keep your data safe..
Here’s the thing - in order for these solutions to be effective, each piece of the puzzle needs to be supported and kept secure.. These updates often don’t include safeguards for EOL software - that would be like buying a bag of oranges from Family Fare Supermarkets, and expecting to be able to return them to Safeway 3 months later because they’ve gone bad.
As a result, even the most comprehensive security solution won’t protect your data, simply because its components are no longer configured to your solution’s needs. It’s like if you wanted to find some comfy seat covers for your car, but were somehow still driving a Ford Pinto. Even the nicest seat covers aren’t going to protect the seats... first, because they aren’t going to fit properly, and second, they aren’t going to do anything to stop the car from exploding.
While this might be a slightly extreme example, the point stands.
Furthermore, running an obsolete operating system also hobbles your business by preventing it from being able to use the best solutions. We’re certified with Microsoft to deploy and manage their best productivity tools - but this only helps you if they are compatible with your chosen operating system. Even if they are, once Windows 7 reaches EOL, the updates that these tools receive may not be compatible with your system - extending your vulnerability and hamstringing your productivity.
Plus, once your operating system reaches its end-of-life, the solutions that work with it are likely soon to follow.
However, you aren’t too late! You still have time to upgrade before the deadline passes, and we can help! Reach out to us at 605-341-3873 and ask about our migration processes, and the productivity-boosting solutions we can outfit you with once you’ve upgraded.