Microsoft is pulling the plug on support for it Windows 7 operating systems. This is not new news. Microsoft has been upfront about the upcoming changes and it has been urging users to upgrade and update their systems.
There are still those holdouts, and we aren’t sure what they are waiting for because it doesn’t appear that Microsoft is going to change its mind and announce, “just kidding… keep using Windows 7.” We can tell you, and we do tell our clients, you don’t have to panic but you DO need to have a plan in place. If you have made no moves toward preparing your company for the loss of Windows 7 support, the time is now.
An article in GCN notes: Users of Microsoft 7, after support is ceased in January 2020, will not have access to security patches and this will leave users of that operating system vulnerable to hackers. Windows 7 is more than ten years old but still boasts a vast user base and Windows 7 is still running on what is deemed “mission-critical” systems like United States voting machines. You can read the entire article here.
If you don’t think that hackers are waiting for January 2020 with anticipation because their “jobs” will be made easier for them. It will be easier for them to hack and infiltrate systems that are not receiving security patches. Why would you leave yourself, your clients and your business vulnerable when a solution is available? Windows 10 is certainly an option and yes as an IT consultant I understand that updating an entire network is costly and time-consuming but what will it cost and how much time will it take if you are hacked and sensitive information is made public and vulnerable? Astronomical?
What can your company and your IT department to do prepare for this Windows 7 demise?
- Inventory the machines in your network. Tally up how many are using Windows 7 and how many need to be updated.
- What are the risks to your data for those computers using Windows 7? For example, how many of those computers are forward-facing and available to the public and how much private and personal information of your clients could be vulnerable? Imagine if you’re a healthcare facility running Windows 7 — how much patient information is vulnerable?
- Assess the computers in your facility and on your network. Determine which are at the highest risk and which contain personal and private data. Put a plan in place to upgrade and update your operating systems.
The time is now. You can’t put your head in the sand and leave your systems and data vulnerable.
I run an IT & Cyber Security Consultancy. We work with a lot of professionals. Let me know what other information I should be sharing that is helpful to you or your profession. Would you be interested in coming on my Security Disciple Podcast? @waregeeks DM me, call (877) 653-7146, or email me email@example.com. www.waregeeks.com