For the past 10 years, many businesses have relied on the use of Windows for their server and computer operating systems. With several past versions already unsupported, and the end of support date approaching for the 2012 and 2012 R2 OS versions, it’s important that everyone still using them knows what it means for security risk and why it’s crucial to start considering switching now.
What Is The “End of Support” For Windows OS?
Usually, operating systems have two phases – a mainstream support period and an extended support period, both of which last for 5 years. Once these are up, Microsoft will stop providing system updates and all security patches, creating an extremely vulnerable infrastructure for businesses still using them.
For businesses using Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 and older, this poses a major security threat as all are now officially unsupported. For any businesses using Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2, you only have until October 2023 before you stop receiving security patches and your systems become vulnerable to attacks and put your data at risk.
What Security Implications Will This Have On Your Business?
Unfortunately, an unsupported server OS leaves your entire business vulnerable to cyber-attacks and external threats, which could cause widespread damage to your network and data. Here are some of the main ways in which your business will be at risk if you continue to use any unsupported Windows Server OS:
- Hackers and cybercriminals are likely to be waiting for the end-of-support date and will take advantage of any insecure servers
- With no security patches, your company and customer data is at huge risk as it can easily be breached and stolen
- As your server becomes more vulnerable, there’s a much greater chance of being affected by ransomware and viruses that could cause serious service outages
- Applications become more vulnerable too as they have no security support. This makes it dangerous for users working with these apps as their data can easily be exploited
- Software and third-party applications become liable to fail as their features and services cease to function properly with unsupported operating systems
- Unknown vulnerabilities can develop as vendors and admins stop working on solutions for them. These vulnerabilities can therefore not be prevented by anyone, and are often sold on the web to other hackers who will take advantage of them
What solutions are there?
In order to avoid the inevitable security and usability issues once support for these systems ends, it’s strongly recommended that you upgrade to a modern environment, utilising systems such as Microsoft Azure and Windows Server 2022. This will help your business to remain secure and prevent continuous cyber threats to your data and network.
Remember that Windows 7, Server 2008 and 2008 R2 are already unsupported, whilst Server 2012 and 2012 R2 will lose their support in October 2023.
If you’re unsure of what your current servers are running on, or know that you need to upgrade before October next year, get in touch with us today. As a Microsoft Partner, Equity can help you to establish the best plan of action for maintaining secure, fully operational servers.
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