Over 40% of businesses are still on the now outdated Windows 7 platform and/or Server 2008. If you’re one of them, you’ll need to upgrade your operating system by the end of the year. On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will end support for Windows 7 and Server 2008. For Windows 7 this means users will no longer receive security updates, making them vulnerable to virus attack. Server 2008 also won’t receive security updates along with any current free support options, non-security updates, or any updates to online technical content.

The clock has been counting down for the end of Windows 7 ever since Microsoft ended mainstream support back in 2015. While many users have already upgraded to Windows 10, anyone who hasn’t will need to take action soon to be sure their upgrade is in place before support stops.

What does this mean for you and your business?

If no action is taken, Windows 7 will technically be usable after next January, however it will be difficult for users to stay with the platform. Not only will Windows 7 become progressively more unstable as modern hardware outpaces the software, but cybercriminals are certain to flock to the operating system after support shuts down. Without any security updates, anyone still using Windows 7 will be easy targets for hackers.

If you’re running a business, this is a risk you can’t afford. It’s time to contact your IT provider to prepare for an upgrade and you’ll want to do this well in advance of the January 14 deadline. Whether you’re planning on seamlessly transitioning to Windows 10 or moving on to an alternative operating system, this is a task that needs to be at the top of your list.

Don’t Leave Yourself Vulnerable

Since Windows 7 will continue to work after January 14, you may wonder why you can’t just stick it out and keep using the platform. The answer is you can – but you absolutely shouldn’t. In fact, the risks and problems this decision poses to your business make an upgrade less of a decision and more a necessity.

Modern software is no longer designed with Windows 7 in mind. Software will continue to progress, and Windows 7 will eventually become incompatible with the new technology.

The same goes for hardware. Tech equipment advances exponentially year by year. To keep up with these improvements and upgrades, you’ll need an operating system that can match the pace. As the hardware progresses, it will also eventually become incompatible with Windows 7 altogether.

However, these are small concerns when compared to the future security of your network. As time goes on, new vulnerabilities may be discovered in even the most well-designed operating systems. To fight against hackers, developers continuously search for ways to remove these security gaps and release them in the form of patches. Every update installed on your machine staves off would-be opportunists on the hunt for their next victim.

When support for Windows 7 and Server 2008 ends on January 14, 2020, these updates will dry up. That means any users still on the platform – and there will be a lot of them – will be exposed hackers.

These users will be easy marks for cybercriminals who are always searching for the lowest hanging fruit to target. Staying on an operating system after it’s no longer supported is like leaving the digital door open to your business. Don’t do it.

Time Is Running Out

We’re still six months out from the Windows 7 end-of-life date. While that may seem like a lot of time, but when you’re actually making the transition you’ll need all the time you can get. Upgrading dozens, hundreds or even thousands of PCs is more laborious than you may realize. And with so many other companies scrambling to do the same toward the end of the year, IT providers are likely to get bogged down with service requests.

Instead of putting it off until the last minute and potentially leaving yourself vulnerable, contact your IT provider as soon as possible to initiate the upgrade process. If you act now, you’ll leave yourself ample time to iron out any issues as they arise without the added pressure of an imminent deadline.

When your business is on the line, it just doesn’t make sense to delay. Don’t risk losing everything you’ve worked so hard to build. We can help with your Windows 7 and Server 2008 upgrade. Contact us today at 877-464-9996.

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