We are fast approaching January 14, 2020, the date Microsoft has declared will mark the end of Windows 7 support for most of the world. After this date Microsoft will no longer publish Windows 7 updates, security patches or bug fixes to the general public. In addition, 3rd party software vendors will assign their own End of Life date for Windows 7 after which time users of their software will be required to upgrade to Windows 10 if they wish to continue receiving vendor support. Each vendor will set their own End of Life date for Windows 7 and we encourage everyone to contact their important software vendors to discuss their plans for Windows 7 support.
What does this mean to my business?
Every business should begin to budget for replacing or upgrading their Windows 7 machines to the more up-to-date Windows 10 operating system. We recommend to our customers that the age and horsepower of each computer be evaluated to determine which machines can be upgraded versus which must be replaced.
Contact your I.T. vendor today to discuss your upgrade/replacement plan.
What if I continue to use Windows 7 past the End of Life date?
If your business is subject to HIPAA regulations, you may not be considered compliant if you continue to use an operating system that is no longer supported by the Microsoft. In the event of a data breach, your non-compliance might affect you legally and economically.
Even if you are not subject to HIPAA regulations, you still need to be aware of the potential risks with running a non-supported operating system. The Windows 7 operating system probably won't be any less secure on January 15th than it was on January 14th however, over time, Windows 7 will become less and less secure as new exploits are discovered but not patched.
If you insist on running Windows 7 past the End of Life date you should make sure that you are running the latest anti-virus software with the most up-to-date virus definitions. You should also consider using an anti-malware program such as Malwarebytes which also includes a real-time scanner that monitors the operating system for infections that your anti-virus may not catch.
Ultimately, our suggestion is to put your business on an upgrade/replacement plan to ensure that your office is running Windows 10 across all of your computers by January 14, 2020.