Windows 7 is still being used by many companies, despite it being in its final year of life. If your business is running this software, here is what you need to consider.
On January 14, 2020, all support for Windows 7 ends. Microsoft will no longer provide free security updates or product support after that date. If your computers are still running this operating system software, here is what you need to consider.
No Free Security Updates
After January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide free updates to fix newly discovered security vulnerabilities in Windows 7. Similarly, it will no longer provide free security updates to Internet Explorer web browsers running on Windows 7 machines. According to Microsoft, Internet Explorer is a component of the Windows operating system, so it follows Windows 7’s lifecycle policy.
This means that your Windows 7 computers and the Internet Explorer browsers installed on them will not be protected against cyber attacks exploiting newly discovered security vulnerabilities. As a result, your business will be at greater risk of data breaches, ransomware, and other types of cyber-crime. To make matters worse, hackers often keep track of when vendors stop supporting popular apps. They then launch new cyber attacks that target those apps once the support has ended.
There is another less-obvious risk associated with using unpatched software. Since you cannot protect your Windows 7 computers from new cyber attacks, your company might not be compliant with regulations that govern the protection of sensitive data. Noncompliance can result in penalties, higher costs, and even lost business.
No Product Support
After January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer support computers running Windows 7. Nor will it support Internet Explorer browsers running on Windows 7 machines. This means that Microsoft will no longer answer any technical questions or help troubleshoot any problems. The only Microsoft resources that will be available are articles, webcasts, and other free online content that the company has posted about the software in the past.
January 14, 2020, is approaching fast. It is a good idea to start planning now instead of waiting to the last minute. Here are your main options if your business is still running Windows 7:
- Continue to use Windows 7 without any security updates or support. Windows 7 and Internet Explorer will not suddenly stop working after January 14, 2020. The apps will still work, so you can keep using them. However, doing so leaves your business at greater risk of cyber attacks.
- Upgrade to Windows 10. By moving to Windows 10, you will have free security updates, feature updates, and product support. If you subscribe to Microsoft 365 Business and your computers are running Windows 7 Professional, you can upgrade at no additional cost.
Your business data is your most valuable asset. A cyber attack could be devastating to your bottom line. Now is the time to begin planning a sensible migration to Windows 10. Contact us to talk about a plan that will help you seamlessly phase into new, secure systems.