Microsoft has announced that it will cut off support for Windows® 7 and several editions of Windows® Server operating systems on January 14th, 2020.

Don't I Have Plenty of Time?

While it feels like there is plenty of time, there are factors you may not be considering:

  • Experts predict a shortage of available PCs as companies rush to get on updated platforms before the deadline. The news is already reporting the impact of Intel CPU shortages impacting PC sales.
  • Limited supply and increasing demand will cause a hike in PC costs.
  • Making the move from Windows® 7 to Windows® 10 is no simple feat. There is no ‘update now’ option. The computer you have may not run Windows® 10 or other modern operating systems.

Delaying means scrambling at the last minute, which means back orders and delays. It is important to plan for the upgrade now, while there is time.

What are the Other editions of windows You mentioned?

Great question! It isn't just Windows 7 that needs to be upgraded. The following is a short list of other products and operating systems with support dates ending soon.

  • Windows® XP (all editions)
  • Windows® Vista (all editions)
  • Windows® 7 (all editions)
  • Windows® Server 2008 (all editions and all previous versions)
  • Windows® SQL Server 2008 (all editions and all previous versions)

Why Does This Matter?

For many of our clients, this is a regulatory concern. In a recent post about rising technology costs, we discussed recent ONC guidance on how system vulnerabilities and patching are key components to the required risk analysis. Using outdated operating systems leaves you vulnerable to Ransomware and other forms of cybercrime.

What Is the Impact?

This is a bigger deal than many people realize. According to various reports, 1-in-5 internet-connected computers run an outdated operating system, with over 19% of all users running Windows® 7. This means there is a large demographic, making it worth a hacker's time.

Running an outdated operating system means your data is at risk. Unsupported systems no longer receive updates, making your workstation increasingly vulnerable to malware attacks.

What Does the HHS Say?

Aside from a 2018 OCR Cybersecurity Newsletter about patching, using outdated operating systems can result in fines if you are audited for HIPAA Security Rule compliance – and audits are increasing! While the Security Rule does not require specific operating systems for compliance, an HHS FAQ speaks to the obligations covered entities have in maintaining system security.

Additionally, the software you rely on may no longer work on outdated systems. Allscripts, NextGen, eClinicalWorks, and other major Electronic Health Record vendors have stated older operating systems are unsupported.

What should I do?

Act sooner rather than later. Plan ahead and mitigate budget concerns, especially if your business has a large number of aging devices. There is a year left, but the clock won’t stop counting down.

Do I Need an Upgrade?

For current clients, Umbrella has already started reaching out. We provided detailed reports for every client with impacted workstations or servers.

If you are not a client, we would be happy to discuss our ITMS 3.0 program. Our managed services solution includes patch and security update management, and there is an annual workstation refresh option – keeping you updated, compliant, and secure.

Interested in learning more? Please get in touch.

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