It is now less than a year until January the 14th 2020, when Microsoft will be stopping extended support for Windows 7 and Server 2008 server. If you manage Windows devices on a network, you need start planning your upgrade.
The reason this is so important is because when support ends, Windows 7 will no longer get system updates most importantly, security updates.
Not receiving these updates will make your network of devices much more vulnerable to malicious software. Much like with Windows XP in 2014, as soon as the support ends, known exploits that haven’t been fixed will be targeted by malicious individuals.
Best practice is to upgrade to the latest platform, which currently is Windows 10, version 1809. Such a large change may cause compatibility issues with existing applications, so it’s important to do a full audit and carry out application compatibility reviews beforehand to make sure everything will continue to work.
Some hackers have been known to make records of vulnerabilities for software, and kept them secret until the software has gone out of support. This means that there are potentially Windows 7 vulnerabilities that have been found by hackers, that are not even known by Microsoft themselves, and once it is out of support, these then may never be fixed leaving open holes in the software for the hackers to exploit.
Upgrading may not be an option due to software compatibility constraints, or simply time constraints. While this isn’t ideal, there are steps you can take in order to reduce the risk of issues. While this won’t give you the lowest possible risk, it’s the best guidelines you can follow when you simply can’t upgrade.
It isn’t just Windows 7 going end of life, Windows Server 2008 is also on the list.
We are actively working with clients, both existing and new to help them to plan for their upcoming migrations. If you would like to see how we can help you please contact us and we will arrange for one of migration specialists to talk to you.