As we foreshadowed in a 2018 article, Windows 7, Server 2008 and SQL 2008 reached ‘end of support’ on 14 January 2020.

Despite this, we are still seeing some small-to-medium businesses continue to run these systems, leaving them increasingly exposed to unnecessary security and operational risks. If this is the case in your business, please read on…

What is ‘end of support’?

End of support refers to the date when Microsoft no longer provides automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance. Critically, without Microsoft support, you no longer receive security updates that can help protect against harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software and cyberthreats that are constantly evolving while your unsupported software does not.

In 2017, the global ‘WannaCry’ ransomware attack targeted people using unsupported operating systems, resulting in over 200,000 victims in 150 countries, including Australian businesses, that were unable to access their locked down files without paying a ransom. Such cyber events can have devastating operational and financial impacts on a business, with the average time to resolve an attack at around 23 days for Australian businesses.

What to do if your organisation is affected

For organisations still running Windows 7 workstations and laptops, these should be transitioned to Windows 10 as soon as possible. This accords with Government advice.

“Adversaries may use unpatched security vulnerabilities to target Microsoft Windows 7 workstations. Organisations using Windows 7 should upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Windows 10 to continue receiving patches for security vulnerabilities, while also benefiting from security improvements in the newer operating system.”

ACSC, Australian Signals Directorate – End of Support for Microsoft Windows 7

The urgency to transition to more secure, up-to-date server systems is the same. We can guide you through the server migration.

Now may also be an advantageous time for an update with the end of financial year fast approaching and the current instant asset write-off rules. So please get in touch with us urgently if we can assist you with the transition.