Good-bye Windows 7, Good-bye Security Patches, Good-bye Support. Microsoft stopped adding feature updates to Windows 7 in 2015 and will end Extended Support on 14th of January 2020, just 3 months away. It’s now more important than ever to upgrade or replace any computers you have still operating on Windows 7.
The big question asked of our Aliva support team is “why do we need to upgrade?… it’s working fine and has been for a couple of years. ..”
The simple answer is that when Microsoft ceased to invest in and support Windows 7 or Windows XP operating systems, they also stop providing patches and updates. Computers using Windows 7 then become a “magnet for hackers” who find and exploit vulnerabilities knowing there’ll be no further security updates and patches. Needless to say businesses still using Windows 7 computers open themselves up to becoming the “new beacons of hope” for the hackers.
These computers can then become chinks in the armor of our customer’s otherwise secure environment. User error aside, we’ve identified most crypto-locker and virus attacks occur when computers with older unsupported operating systems and inferior security safeguards and/or unpatched security vulnerabilities are exposed to the internet. In stark contrast new computers running Windows 10 offer greater security, data protection and lower support costs.
What options do I have?
We recommend transitioning all your computers to Windows 10. You may be able to upgrade your Windows 7 computer to run Windows 10, but you should weigh up these costs against the computer’s age and functional capability. Some newer computers may be upgraded by purchasing a Windows 10 licence, but again we find these costs usually outweigh the cost of a new computer. In some cases, your computer may be eligible for a free upgrade if it was purchased with a Windows 10 licence, but downgraded to Windows 7. In any event, it is true that new computers are pre-loaded with helpful tools that improve workflows and staff productivity as well as employing the latest security defenses.
…but my specific business software only runs on Windows 7, what can I do?
Do you have a specific business critical app with no upgrade path or the vendor is no longer in business? Connect with an Aliva team member to explore your options which could involve a short term fix by hardening security and locking down your computer until an alternate option is found. The software application may be that critical to your business operations that there’s a positive cost benefit to purchasing Extended Security Licences that extend Windows Security Updates for particular computers.
For assistance contact Aliva on 07 3505 5050 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Luke Winstanley – Service Delivery Coordinator