Using the most up-to-date versions of your technology’s operating systems is one of the best ways to stay secure. Yet, some organizations forego the jump to more recent operating systems due to the immense up-front expense represented by upgrading multiple servers or workstations at once. Unfortunately, this can be detrimental to your organization’s security, and potentially even put your business’s future at risk.
The reasoning for this is simple; when a Windows software reaches its End of Life event, it stops receiving any mission-critical patches or security updates that resolve operational deficiencies and patch up security flaws that could expose your data to malicious entities. By using software that has reached its End of Life, you are effectively crippling your business in a way which could easily be resolved with some proactive and well-thought-out upgrades.
Just this past April, the often-forgotten-about Windows Vista fell off Microsoft support. Before that was Windows XP, which was used by a major portion of the Windows user base. Now, the next Windows End of Life scheduled to occur is Windows 7 on January 14th, 2020. Coincidentally, a common server software is also reaching its End of Life on the very same day: Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise.
Businesses that rely on these popular software solutions will need to make the jump to more recent operating systems in order to guarantee network security. Unfortunately, the time and resources it takes to upgrade multiple workstations or servers makes it tempting to just ignore it for the time being. The problem with this is that placing such an important update on the back burner means that your organization is in danger of data breaches, as any systems running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 RN would no longer be receiving patches for major security flaws or operational issues.
Waiting until the last minute to implement fixes for this issue is absolutely not recommended. Upgrading the operating systems on workstations and servers could come with hidden hurdles that need to be considered prior to implementation. What if your legacy applications stop working as intended? Drastic changes like these often also mean implementing new hardware, which means you might need to halt operations momentarily. Can your operations sustain the significant downtime that this would cause? The answer is no. No downtime is acceptable, and you should strive to make the upgrade process as seamless as possible.
The solution is to think about this problem now before 2020 arrives and Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 RN are rendered dead in the water. You still have plenty of time to consider what you want to do about this End of Life event. This is why we’re letting you know now. If you need a hand in the process of upgrading away from these operating systems, SemTech IT Solutions would be glad to help. To learn more, reach out to us at 407-830-1434.