You may have heard the buzz about Windows 7 reaching its End of Life date, and the risks associated with the continued use of an obsolete operating system (OS). Essentially, if you or your business is relying on an OS that has reached its End of Life (EoL) date, then you are relying on software that is no longer receiving support. No more security updates or exploit patches are released for that software. That means that every new exploit or hack found for that OS is a permanent risk to you and your business. Not exactly something we want to deal with, right?
Unfortunately, Windows 2008 is also reaching its EoL date, and the same problems will appear as a result. So what can you, as an individual or as a business, do to plug these soon-to-be gaping holes in your security? How can you protect your data, and how much is it going to cost.
Put simply, it will be costly, but it will be cheaper than letting things stand as they are. Your options are to either pay Microsoft roughly $600 per year ($50-75 per device per month) to extend the license and keep it supported for you, or you can spend about $200 more than that to get a brand new device with the latest technology and OS that will be supported and usable for at least another three to five years, if not much more. Keeping the old OS around is much like a tumor: you can either eat the costs to try and solve the problem, or you can find yourself continually being drained of funding while still being at a massive security risk. One option seems much better, doesn’t it?
Who Should Be Worried?
Anyone using Windows 2008 should be worried, but the people that should be particularly concerned are the businesses and individuals that invested in a new server between 2007 and 2011. That server likely came with, or had installed, Windows 2008. The server is the core of the network, all Windows devices connect to that device. Anyone who can access the server can access all of the files connected to that network. So if the OS that the server uses becomes obsolete and unsupported, that means that every file, every miniscule piece of data in that sever is vulnerable to cybercrime. That kind of risk can ruin a business.
Businesses should focus on investing into these servers this year. Basic servers cost around $5,000-$8,000 depending on licenses and the chosen operating system. It’s going to be the smarter business decision in the long term (and depending on how unlucky you are, potentially the short term) to upgrade your server and migrate that data into the safer environment. If you are forced to work with the soon-to-be outdated operating system, then we suggest throwing up as many firewalls as possible. If a hacker gets into your server and steals information you’re not only losing money from the data, you’re at risk for a violent incoming lawsuit for not protecting your data. It’s not about how big you are or how much data you have; hackers will take advantage of any easy target.
What Can I Do?
The best way to solve this problem, and other future problems like this, is to contract with a dedicated and talented IT support team. Such a team can help you migrate your data and processes over to a new system, and help you set up your security in a secure and affordable manner. Fortunately, that’s exactly what we do at Attentus. Give us a call.