On January 14th 2020, we hit the Windows 7 End of Life date. This means that from January 14th on, while you can still use Windows 7, you will no longer get any kind of support from Microsoft, including the release of critical security updates.
It’s common for Microsoft and other providers eventually push old operating systems into obsolescence. This enables them to focus on providing support for more up to date systems. Still, it’s estimated that 200 million PCs worldwide are still running Windows 7, despite it reaching its End of Life.
As this statistic shows, while many companies have already made the switch to Windows 10, not everyone has taken the leap, and some businesses continue to put off the upgrade. Some might be worried about using a new OS and moving away from the processes that have been working for them for a long time. Others might fear losing data or having to move to cloud-based computing for the first time.
Unfortunately, by resisting change, these businesses are putting themselves at risk. With Microsoft no longer providing regular security updates, their IT systems will be at substantial risk of a data breach, which can cost a company millions of dollars in cleanup fees, legal fines, and ransomware costs. New GDPR laws could also mean that you are breaking data protection regulations if you are operating with unprotected systems.
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at what Windows 7 End of Life could mean for your business, and why you should be upgrading to Windows 10 as soon as possible:
What Does Windows 7 End of Life Mean for Your Business?
As mentioned, support and updates are now no longer going to be released for Windows 7. Without regular security updates, you are putting your business in a very precarious position when it comes to security.
Most industries today are required by law to adhere to cybersecurity regulations. Healthcare practices must adhere to HIPAA regulations, financial institutions must follow FFIEC guidelines, and virtually every other business is required to follow PCI DSS laws. By using an unsupported OS, you might already be breaking these laws.
Upgrade to Windows 10, and you receive full customer service support, as well as security updates. These updates can protect your (and your customers) data from modern cybersecurity threats, which are becoming more advanced by the day. Plus, the average cost of a security breach is $3.92 million according to IBM, so you also put your business at risk of a huge financial loss if you continue using Windows 7.
Is It Too Late To Upgrade To Windows 10?
Obviously, January 14th, 2020 has now passed. So, you might be asking yourself if there’s any point in upgrading. If you are already running without support, and nothing has gone wrong so far, why upgrade at all?
It’s never too late to upgrade, and now that you know the risks of failing to do so, you should be keener than ever to make sure you start the upgrade as soon as possible.Every day, hackers and other cybercriminals become more aware of the lack of support for Windows 7. They know that businesses still using the old OS are an easy target. In the coming months, we’re sure to see more of these businesses get into serious trouble with their security.
To upgrade your business to Windows 10, it’s important to partner with a managed IT services company that has experience performing large-scale OS upgrades. This allows your business to maintain productivity and ensure the upgrade is performed correctly. They can help you develop a plan to take inventory of your devices, manage licensing agreements, and migrate devices in phases to prevent data loss and other issues from occurring during the upgrade.
What Are the Other Benefits of Windows 10?
While receiving regular support and security updates is a clear incentive for any business to upgrade to Windows 10, it’s certainly not the only benefit of upgrading. Other advantages include speed, ease of use, an intuitive start menu, Cortana, app availability, an improved browser, virtual desktops, and greater app compatibility.
Additionally, Windows 10 is designed to detect and prevent more advanced threats than Windows 7 could, so it offers a greater level of security than Windows 7 could even if it still received regular support.
With these benefits and more—especially in relation to security—it’s imperative that your business makes the switch to Windows 10 as soon as possible. Otherwise, it’s a high probability your business could fall victim to a costly security breach that will have serious impacts on both your financial stability and your customer loyalty.