One of the most popular operating systems in Microsoft’s illustrious history, Windows 7 is still used by many businesses and individuals today. However, just like every system that came before it, support for Windows 7 must inevitably come to an end, and this will make upgrading an essential task to ensure security is up-to-date. Microsoft has announced a date when security patching will be discontinued, and it’s coming soon.
When does Windows 7 support end?
Mainstream support for Windows 7 actually ended in January of 2015, but extended support for security purposes continued. It has now been announced that this extended support is to stop from 14 January 2020. While an operating system is in extended support, it is still very safe to use. Security threats are still patched, even if new features are not added as they would be during mainstream support. But once extended support is discontinued, if you carry on using the operating system then you are vulnerable to some serious security threats.
Software security patching is an essential component of certification for Cyber Essentials, under the ‘Patch Management’ section. If you are a business using Windows 7, you are strongly advised to make the upgrade well before the date extended support ends. This is particularly important for your compliance with GDPR requirements – if you fail to maintain your Cyber Essentials, you could face consequences under the data protection regulations. The Cyber Essentials initiative is tied in with the IASME Governance standard to make it simple and affordable for SMEs to improve their cybersecurity.
It is important that you use the resources available to you to make the upgrade as soon as possible. The best option would be to upgrade to Windows 10, but to ensure all your company data transfers successfully you are advised to use professionals to handle the migration. You will need a review of your hardware to ensure it can handle a new operating system, and a good IT company will be able to recommend the most cost-effective path for the upgrade.
This is where Cyber Smart can help. We are specialists in cybersecurity and can help SMEs ensure the data held on their systems is safe. With GDPR regulations in place and the punishing fines that can be served on companies with compromised data, it is more important than ever before to keep your system’s security up to date. If you are running Windows 7, then from 14 January 2020 you will not meet the required standards. Get in touch with our team and we will be happy to offer you free advice or guidance to get the ball rolling to update your systems and ensuring you and your data stay secure.