If your employees are using Windows 7, you need to get ready.
The clock is now ticking towards 14th January 2020, the date on which Microsoft plans to end support for its operating system.
The ramifications of this for the organisations using Windows 7 could be considerable.
According to data published by NetMarketShare in September 2018, Microsoft 7 was still “the system of choice” for 40.88% of users, compared to 37.44% for Windows 10. Although this figure includes personal as well as business users, it’s probably safe to assume that the ratio among businesses is similarly skewed toward Windows 7.
The end of support means EOL or “end of life” for software, systems and computers in the IT world. In the case of Windows 7, it means that although the operating system will still work beyond that date, it will no longer receive even the most basic security patches and updates from Microsoft. This means that from that date it will be vulnerable to hackers who are ready to exploit flaws in the system.
Microsoft lists the dates upon which support for their various systems ends on their website, and it can be seen that support is withdrawn in two stages.
After 5 years, Microsoft withdrew mainstream support for Windows 7. This meant that they were no longer providing support in the form of non-critical security updates, free support and the latest design changes.
The following 5 years (up to January 2020) are a period of extended support. This means that although Microsoft withdrew the mainstream support features detailed above, they would still provide bug fixes and patches.
After January 2020, this will no longer be the case.
Some organisations may feel perfectly happy with the way Windows 7 works for their business and be tempted to stick with the system rather than upgrading to Windows 10.
This would be a huge risk.
At the heart of this risk is the fact that both the operating system and the apps it runs will quickly become vulnerable to attack from un-patched security risks.
Upgrading to the latest system and taking advantage of all the security updates Microsoft issues won’t be enough to guarantee security in itself, but it will be a huge step in the right direction. Users may feel they’re being ‘forced’ to upgrade to a system which they don’t consider to be as effective as the one they’ve been using for the past few years, but the issue of cyber security can hardly be overstated.
To put the threat into perspective, the AV-TEST Institute reports that it is currently registering more than 350,000 brand new malicious programmes (malware) or potentially unwanted applications (PUA) every single day. Of these, 74.78% are malware and 25.22% PUA.
To find out more about upgrading your Windows 7 machines to Windows 10, and why it is so important to do so before January 2020, call Alliance Solutions on 0800 292 2100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.