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Windows End of Life Announcement Means Business Risk

Posted by Maddie McKechnie on 27 February 2019

CHECK NOW AND PLAN FOR ANY NECESSARY UPGRADES

It's time to upgrade your Windows 2008 and/or 2011 servers. After years of declining support from Microsoft, there is now an official date of when these server operating systems will be classed as "end of life" and will no longer receive support.

Less than a year away, Microsoft are urging all businesses using these servers to upgrade to newer software (such as Windows Server 2019) by January 14, 2020. The following server operating systems will be affected by this change, and need to be upgraded before the January 2020 deadline:

  • Windows Server 2008, including 2008 R2.
  • Windows Small Business Server 2008.
  • Windows Small Business Server 2011.
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010.
  • Windows 7 workstations acting as servers will also be affected.

Even if you have recently bought a new physical server, your business may still be affected, as your I.T. infrastructure could be relying on virtual servers that are running the 2008 and 2011 operating systems.

When operating systems are classed as end of life, security vulnerabilities and software bugs are no longer patched by Microsoft - which could leave your systems insecure, glitchy, and incompatible with many modern software programs.

Let's look at the risks your business could face by continuing to use an operating system once it has become end of life.

  • Security Vulnerabilities. If you are running an affected server, it will no longer receive any security updates from Microsoft, which could leave your network exposed to malicious attacks and data breaches. It's all too easy for hackers to search for internet-connected devices with these vulnerabilities, and attack them - it's akin to leaving your front doors open with a sign out the front saying nobody is home.
  • Data Security and Compliance. If you have industry regulations regarding the protection of sensitive customer data (e.g. healthcare and finance), you could be putting your customers and business reputation at risk by using an out-of-date operating system that is known to have security vulnerabilities. Certain data breaches are now required by law to be reported under the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme and can attract financial penalties.
  • Software Incompatibility. Many software providers have already announced that their products will no longer be compatible with older operating systems. This means that the software won't receive feature updates or bug fixes, and the software vendor won't be able to provide technical assistance. In some cases, the software itself simply won't be able to install.
  • No Support from Microsoft. If you have a problem with your machine and it is running an operating system that is end of life, Microsoft's customer service and technical support team will not be able to offer you any help or technical assistance.
  • High Operational Costs. While your server will not stop working come January 2020, the cost to maintain and troubleshoot legacy software could end up costing your business more than the cost to upgrade your machines. Also consider the potential losses if your business-critical software were to fail during a busy production period, and you were unable to receive support from the software provider as they no longer support the software your older operating system.

 

WHAT WE RECOMMEND - PLAN SOONER RATHER THAN LATER AND BEAT THE RUSH

  • Contact a reliable I.T. service provider who can explain more about the risks of old and/or non-supported operating systems, and what changes may be required to your current I.T. infrastructure to coincide with an operating system upgrade.
  • We suggest you consider this change sooner rather than later, so that if infrastructure changes are warranted, you have plenty of time to plan for it.
  • If you need to upgrade any equipment or software, start planning now to get in this financial year's 'instant asset write-off'.
  • Avoid a last-minute panic at the end of 2019, when demand for new servers could be at an all-time high.
  • If you aren't sure whether your server is affected, please contact Loyal I.T. Solutions and we can help provide this information.

 

Download our fact sheet on the Windows End of Life Announcement

 

You may also like to read our other fact flyer sheets:

Author: Maddie McKechnie
Tags: Security IT IT Consulting Networking Security

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