Windows 7 EOL: Updates and Patches

Windows 7 EOL: Updates and Patches

img-blog-feature-windows7-update

What's the Rush?

With all of the talk of migrating from Windows 7, the question keeps coming up. Why is this so urgent? Don't I have until January? Fair question, but the answer is no. This is generally not just a flip of a switch for a business. You have multiple pieces working together in your technology infrastructure. It is vital to test and explore how your business critical tools (hardware and software) and data will react to the upgrade. Some of this comes down to what version, and whether or not you have been performing ongoing updates.

Remind me later…

I know. It can be really annoying. Be it on your phone, laptop, desktop or other devices it happens often, and usually not at a convenient time. There is an update that you should consider downloading. With Microsoft, sometime there are upwards of 50-60 of these per month. Other software may not have as many, but still, if you multiply this by all of the software that you are running to operate your business, it can be tiresome, irritating, and somewhat debilitating to your productivity.

One possible "solution" is to turn off those notifications. Ignore them and the problem is solved, right? NO!!!!

Missing these updates can be detrimental to your systems. Not only do they leave you susceptible to known vulnerabilities but, over time, when ignored, they can make catching up difficult and potentially costly. Updates and patches are paramount to keeping your network environment secure.

If the patch doesn't exist, you are at risk

Unless you have someone that is constantly reading up, seeking out, and researching the latest cyberattacks, it is entirely possible that you don't hear about existing threats. The risks are on the rise and include malware, ransomware, and other viruses that could infect your infrastructure. By not having software that is actively being patched, or by not running the update to put patches in place, your network is in danger. For example, the patch to block the WannaCry virus was released in March of 2017, but the threat is still viable because businesses have still not applied the patch. Think of it like a medicine. If you miss a dose it may not kill you, but over time the underlying issue will worsen and, whatever the medicine was meant to prevent may cause irreparable damage. Take the pill. Run the patches and updates.

Compatibility and Expiration

Another reason to be diligent is in consideration of the whole picture. Your business relies on all of your various tools working together. Your software applications all run on your operating system. If you do not have all of your tools running at their latest version, you could run into a situation where migrating from Windows 7 is challenged. Windows 10 may not be able to support an outdated version of your accounting software for example. This is in place for safety and for the same reasons that we have been discussing. It is assumed that if you have not got the latest version that you are susceptible to errors/problems.

At this point you would have two options. Option one would be to go through all of the version updates and bring your software to the current. Depending on how long you have waited, and the software, this may have costs associated (at the very least downtime and potential for loss). The other is far more dangerous and is to risk using the out of date tools. This will hurt you in the long run. The longer that updates are not taken into account, the more likely that there will be loss and/or a breach.

img-blog-windows7-update

Stop the spinning.

The truth is this. At some point you will need to make the investment in migrating from Windows 7. Microsoft's product life-cycle will push you toward this. As they move away from a product offering, they discourage, if not prevent its use. Those who do not follow the product road map get left behind. Office 2019 only works on Windows 10 and not on previous versions. And Office 2016 can no longer be purchased. It is for this reason that we like to have a test machine in your office on which we progress with a migration plan, determining where errors may occur. This test prevents downtime and loss allowing for a clear illustration of the steps that will be needed.

Why put your company at risk? The cost of a problem far exceeds the cost of upgrades.

Security should be top of mind. Making sure that your company safely migrates from Windows 7 is very important, but so is doing it the right way. In order to avoid bumps in the road, or worse, roadblocks, these steps need to be taken. In the end your business will be in a better place and the benefits will be easy to recognize.

For more information about how Infoaxis can help your company migrate, please contact us or call our Mahwah, NJ office at 201-236-3000.