As of January 14th 2020, Microsoft will no longer be offering support for Windows 7 users, meaning upgrading really is essential.

Microsoft has for years encouraged those still using Windows 7 to upgrade to Windows 10, however, millions of PC’s in daily use still use Windows 7. These PC’s are owned by both individuals and businesses and, as of January, will be at huge risk of being hacked when Microsoft stops issuing free security updates for Windows 7.

Back in May 2017, Windows 7 was the Windows version mostly affected by WannaCry, which eventually affected over 300,000 PC’s in various worldwide countries. WannaCry was mostly reported for taking down the National Health Service (NHS) PC’s, and the NHS has recently admitted that it still has around 1 million PC’s running on Windows 7. These PC’s will be hugely at risk of other viruses such as WannaCry as of January next year if they are not upgraded beforehand. Microsoft have advised that large companies who may not be able to easily switch to Windows 10 will be able to apply for extended support contracts, however, at $25 per year per device, these could get quite pricey for those with thousands, or even millions, of PC’s.

Kaspersky, a security software firm has been warning users of Windows 7 of the potential dangers they could face if they do not upgrade or apply for the extended support contracts from Microsoft. Their Enterprise Solutions Manager, Alexey Pankratov, issued a blog post explaining the importance of upgrading. The post explained: “Statistics show that a significant share of users, both businesses and individuals still use workstations running an outdated or approaching end of lifecycle OS. The widespread use of Windows 7 is concerning, as there is less than six months to go until this version becomes unsupported […] an old unpatched OS is a cybersecurity risk – the cost of an incident may be substantially higher than the cost of upgrading. This is why we recommend that customers migrate to supported versions and ensure that additional security tools are in place during the transition period.”

Upgrading is vitally important, or, if you are unable to upgrade all of your business’s PC’s before January 2020, then you really should be applying for an extended support contract. Not taking action will leave your business open to potential cyberattacks, which can see a business come to a standstill altogether or lose years’ worth of important data. If you feel like you need help with your IT or if you are considering outsourcing this to an external Company, then get in touch with us today to discuss this further. Here at Garvey’s we offer professional, reliable and trustworthy services, and with years of knowledge and experience, we really do deliver services of the highest quality!