Are You Ready for January 14th & the end of Windows 7?
Editors Note: Expert content needs an expert content writer and Yorkshire Powerhouse is pleased to publish this business advice article on IT Security and Data Protection, kindly written by a real expert in his field – James Bulley from Calder IT.
Please consider contacting James for any aspect of IT support, maintenance and data protection- just click on the advert links above or below – and please mention Yorkshire Powerhouse if you do make contact.
As businesses, we’re all gearing up in preparation for Christmas. But here’s why one date early in the new year may hold an important significance for you – and if it does, why you need to act now.
Microsoft released its Windows 7 operating system (OS) in October 2009. At the time of release, Microsoft committed to supporting the software for 10 years. ‘Support’ relates to technical assistance in the form of Microsoft customer service, but more importantly, it also means updates to your computer’s security. January 14th has been chosen as the last day of this support. Users of Windows 7, therefore, need to upgrade to ensure they continue to receive technical and security updates. Support will also end for Windows Server 2008 R2, Exchange 2010 and Windows Small Business Server 2011 (SBS).
Why You Need to Get Your Business Ready
Having secure and up-to-date operating software is crucial for many reasons in the business world, chiefly that…
- A security breach could potentially give hackers access to customer details, or even sensitive financial or company data.
- Hacks could lead to important business processes being disrupted or even damaged.
Ultimately, the effects of a hack could potentially be widespread and incredibly damaging to your business. The effects can extend beyond financial concerns; your reputation is at stake too. It is your responsibility to take care of your customer data, and it is, therefore, crucial to implement all reasonable steps to make your computer secure.
Whilst it is, of course, vital for a business of any size to have additional levels of computer protection and support in place, OS updates provide the fundamental building blocks of security. Microsoft releases updates regularly to ensure users can benefit from the latest security and software patches.
Put simply, upgrading from Windows 7 is a necessity: for your business, your profits and your customers.
What do I Need to Do?
Microsoft recommends upgrading to Windows 10 in advance of January 2020. However, if your computer is as old as your operating system, it makes good sense to upgrade your computer altogether and benefit from modern hardware too. Given the fast pace of technological change, modern computers are much faster, more efficient and more secure than earlier models. Furthermore, modern computers are much better equipped to run new software and their accompanying updates.
Whilst computers operating Windows 7 can be upgraded to Windows 10 for a license fee (the option to upgrade for free expired in 2016), the best option is to upgrade your computer altogether.
What Happens if I don’t Upgrade?
You won’t notice a difference straight away if you don’t upgrade by January 14th. However, your computer will no longer receive any updates or technical assistance. Windows updates contain crucial security patches, meaning that your Windows 7 computer will soon become vulnerable to security threats. Furthermore, it’s important to realise that computer viruses and hacks do not always become evident straight away; you can often run your computer as normal, whilst hacks take place in the background. It’s often too late by the time you realise a security breach has happened. And the longer you go without upgrading Windows 7 after the deadline, the greater the potential for problems to occur.
Our advice to Windows 7 users is simple: update your computer systems now to avoid problems with your business and its operations. The potential consequences are simply not worth the risk.
Have you any questions?
Here at Yorkshire Powerhouse, we’re happy to help as much as possible – is there anything else we can do to help you, do you have any further questions or can we help introduce you to an expert – please let us know:
Multi Factor Authorisation is where a user can only gain access to business-critical information after successfully presenting a second ‘one-time’ password