More than 184 million businesses are still using Windows 7, according to data recently published in Computerworld magazine, even though starting January 2020, Microsoft will no longer offer support for Windows 7. This means no more operating system updates or patches. Is your business prepared for the change?
Failing to upgrade your operating system to Windows 10 can lead to system-wide security issues and problems running your business line applications – especially those that deal with sensitive information.
Major consequences of not upgrading from windows 7 include:
- End of security updates = Gaps for hackers to exploit
- Increased risk of data theft during credit card transactions or banking transfers
- Vulnerability for your company’s private files
- Unsafe environment for your clients’ most sensitive information = Potential noncompliance with federal regulations like PCI and HIPAA
PCI and HIPAA noncompliance can cost even the smallest company millions in penalties, and hacks during a credit card transaction can be financially devastating to your company and to your client. Unfortunately, hackers anticipate these types of vulnerabilities – such as companies that are slow to transition when security updates stop coming. A few years ago, more than 40 million retailers, who did not update, were at risk within hours following Windows XP end of support.
Windows may offer paid extended support to keep your current system running safely, but by the time you pay these fees, it makes more financial sense to simply upgrade your systems. You’ll soon discover you have paid more to keep your current system going without the benefits of having the latest technology.
When is the best time to begin the transition for the coming Windows 7 end of support?
Many companies had a similar question during Windows XP end of support several years ago. We worked with one company that needed to upgrade or replace 140 systems. To smooth the transition, we worked on a timetable. It is not easy, but the best time to start your upgrade is as soon as possible. The switch, especially if you have multiple computers, can take time.
Some older systems may not even support Windows 10. Many computers have a lifespan of only 5 years. When upgrading your operating system, it is important to understand your machines’ limitations so that you are not spending money unnecessarily.
It is also essential that you have budgeted for the upgrade. With 2019 on the horizon, now is the best time to ensure that funds are available in the coming year to either upgrade or replace your hardware.
Can I upgrade to Windows 8 instead?
Windows 8 is less commonly used, and Microsoft stopped shipments of versions 8.0 and 8.1 in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Besides, if the past is any indication, Windows 8.0 and 8.1 will be the next operating systems to reach end of support. If you have to upgrade, you are much better off going with the latest operating system. Upgrade to Windows 10!
At On-Site Computers, we are committed to helping companies make this transition smoothly. Our team of highly trained technical experts and consultants has experience with these end of support situations. Please contact us online today or call 800-669-8513 if you have any questions about the upgrade to Windows 10 or if you would like more information about Windows 7 end of support.
Also, keep an eye on this blog in the coming weeks; we are working on new posts that will provide more information to help businesses upgrade safely. We do not want you to lose data or compromise a clients’ most sensitive information during this transition.
Mike Bowe | Published on October 22, 2018