Windows 7 will soon stop receiving security and feature updates—is your business ready?
It’s nearly 10 years since Microsoft released Windows 7, which means that the software giant will soon discontinue support for the aging operating system, leaving millions of computers that still rely on it exposed to currently undiscovered vulnerabilities.
The official end of Windows 7 support is scheduled on January 14, 2020. Microsoft strongly urges those who haven’t yet done so to move to Windows 10 before the end of Windows 7 support lifecycle to avoid potentially disastrous security incidents.
“For those who don’t move to Windows 10 by the end-of-support date, they will not see any further patches released for malware or other security issues. This leaves Windows 7 users in a vulnerable state for emerging cyber threats,” said Cecilia Lee, Director of Vendor Management at Vology.
Even though Microsoft has been sending Windows 7 end-of-support reminder notifications for some time now, 47% of small to medium-sized businesses are still running Windows 7, according to Russian security firm Kaspersky. The number is slightly lower for consumers and small office/home office PCs (38%)—but still dangerously high considering that Windows 7 users have just a couple of months to update to Windows 10.
“Statistics show that a significant share of users, both individuals and businesses, still use workstations running outdated or approaching end of lifecycle OS,” said Alexey Pankratov, enterprise solutions manager at Kaspersky. “The widespread use of Windows 7 is concerning as there are less than six months to go until this version becomes unsupported.”
When asked about their reluctance to update, Windows 7 listed a number of concerns. Some believe that the update would be too expensive, not realizing how high the cost of a cyberattack can be and that Microsoft charges up to $200 per device for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU). Others are confused about Windows 10 hardware requirements and software compatibility. There are also those who have gotten used to Windows 7 and are not convinced that Windows 10 could satisfy their requirements equally well.
Instead of using an unpatched operating system that might be vulnerable to a cyberattack similar to WannaCry, which infected over 300,000 Windows computers in 2017, encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, small to medium-sized businesses should turn to a certified Gold Microsoft partner (the most prestigious level of Microsoft’s widely-recognized partnership program) like Vology and come up with a comprehensive update plan.
Vology is fully prepared to help migrate small to medium-sized businesses to Windows 10 and new hardware if necessary, in a timely manner and without budget overruns, allowing them to take advantage of its features and improvements, such as virtual desktops, single sign-on, extended search functionality, Windows Store for Business, enterprise data protection, scheduled restarts, and others.
The most important thing is to act sooner rather than later because replacement software and hardware orders will undoubtedly spike in the weeks leading up to January 14, 2020. It’s very likely that shipping times will become very long due to the high demand, which is why now is the right time to take action and contact Vology.