16th January 2020 | Posted in Cyber Security
On the 14th of January 2020, Microsoft stopped supporting the Windows 7 operating system. This means businesses and consumers with devices running on Windows 7 will no longer receive standard technical assistance, software patches and security updates. Microsoft has urged users still running the software (estimated at 200 million) to upgrade to the newer Windows 10 to continue to receive technical support.
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – the cyber arm of the GCHQ intelligence service – has issued a warning over the continued use of Windows 7 devices, informing users they shouldn’t use the operating system when accessing personal data, such as internet banking or emails.
Should a new security vulnerability or software bug be uncovered in Windows 7, Microsoft is no longer obliged to release any sort of patch to fix the issue. This could lead to potential security risks for individuals and businesses that are targeting and exploited by cyber-criminals and malware.
If your business still operates Windows 7 and no action is taken to upgrade to Windows 10, you’re putting your business at risk. Without security patches and software updates your IT systems will be left vulnerable to cyber-attacks, potentially compromising the security of your data. Hackers will be hunting for unsupported devices that they can then exploit, infiltrating networks via phishing or malware attacks and causing data breaches.
Some businesses may be resistant to upgrading from to Windows 10, citing costs and business disruption as the reason. Unfortunately, these costs and disruptions will only be magnified ten-fold, should a vulnerability be exploited by a cyber-attack, which will just be a matter of time.
If you are a business owner, ensure you take the necessary measures to upgrade your systems and protect your data. Should you need assistance, our IT experts are just a phone call away.