By Curtis Bagnall, Solution Engineer at Umbrella Managed Systems, talking about the upcoming Windows 7 end-of-life support.
If you don’t have any computers that run the Windows 7 operating system at your business, you can stop reading this blog post. If you do in fact have even one computer that runs Windows 7, then the following will better help you prepare for what is in store for you over the next two years.
What does Windows 7 End-of-Life Support mean?
Microsoft stopped offering free mainstream support of Windows 7 on January 13, 2015. But don't worry, you are still able to get patches and updates until January 1, 2020. But on January 14, 2020, Microsoft will be stopping all support for Windows 7 machines. This means that security patching and technical support will no longer be provided from Microsoft.
I know that two years from now seems like a long time. But depending on the number of computers that need to be upgraded, and the scheduling and deployment it will take to roll out a new operating system, it could come faster than you’d think.
Why is this important for your Company?
The biggest issue of continuing to use Windows 7 after January 1, 2020 is the lack of security patches. This leaves businesses open to increased risk of getting hacked. Generally, it takes around two months for a hacker to tear apart a new security patch and find the vulnerabilities and entry points into a computer. That's why Microsoft is releasing new patches every week... and why Umbrella is testing/implementing them on all machines that we support. (We apply patches in a test environment to make sure they don't cause any obvious problems before approving them to be pushed out to client machines.)
However, when the security patches stop coming, it will only be a matter of time before a new threat is spreading through the network. Think of the most recent Ransomware outbreaks that have been in the news recently such as WannaCry and Petya. By manipulating old XP security patches, a vulnerability was found. And both programs sweep through the world locking down network information for many businesses and medical practices.
Resolution and How Umbrella can help
Even though we are two years away from support ending for Windows 7, now is a good time to make sure you have a plan in place to upgrade your Windows 7 machines. If you need help upgrading the Windows 7 machines in your business, please call 816-437-7265 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started. We would appreciate the opportunity to help you!