According to a study conducted by the tech publication Computer World, in March 2018 Windows 7 was being run on approximately 43% of the world’s PCs. Windows 10 now represents only 37% of all computers running a Microsoft operating system. Windows 7 is a tried and true, comfortable and much beloved platform for many users, but Microsoft will be ending their support for it in January of 2020, meaning that millions of computers will need to be upgraded or replaced by that point to avoid significant security problems. What should your business be doing now to ensure you aren’t caught off guard by the Windows 7 curtain call?
What’s The Worst That Could Happen?
When the infamous “WannaCry” Ransomware attack occurred in May of 2017, it was reported that millions of systems across Europe were running unsupported operating systems such as Vista or Windows XP, leaving them broadly open to security exploits. Many of those machines were in use in offices or manufacturing operations. When Windows 7 receives its last round of security patches prior to its end-of-life date, the clock will begin ticking and hackers across the world will begin probing for security exploits and breach points, knowing that users will be receiving no more help from Microsoft to plug them. Such exploits could leave your company open to all manner of intrusion, from Ransomware (designed to encrypt your data and hold it hostage for payment) to keyloggers and trojans.
It is crucial for any organization to have a good working inventory of what computers they are using, what operating system they are running and what each of those machines is being used for. Any computer that is connected to the internet (or networked with other machines that are) should be running a supported operating system and undergo regular maintenance and update tasks. If you don’t have a good understanding of which machines are running what within your organization, now is the time to make that list.
If your organization is running multiple computers with Windows 7, now is the time to begin gradually updating or replacing them. With proper planning, computers can be gradually replaced over the next year and a half, avoiding the chaos and budgetary hit of scrambling to replace multiple systems at the same time. Windows 10 has come into its own since its 2015 debut and offers features that will be a welcome upgrade from Windows 7, along with the security assurance.
Change can be difficult to embrace for many technology users, but ensuring your business is using supported operating systems is one of the most important things you can do to make sure your tech works smoothly and doesn’t become a liability. If you’d like a consultation on transitioning your office from Windows 7, call Mankato Computer Repair today.