Do you have computers in your business running Windows 7?

Windows 7 was one of Microsoft’s most loved computing operating systems and it is still widely used today. According to NetMarketShare’s 2018 data, 40% are still using Windows 7 – compared to the 37% who have moved on to the latest operating system, Windows 10. Windows 7 has reached the end of its lifecycle with support ending in January 2020. Consequently, upgrading your computer is an essential task for the safety of your systems and data.

Many CNC based manufacturing programs still require Windows 7 to operate, but this leaves your organization vulnerable to any new attacks that come after the January 2020 deadline.  You may be able to segment these systems from your core network, run Windows 7 in a virtual state and remove the ability to connect to the internet, but running a known vulnerable software isn’t a good plan and scary to say the least!

Simply upgrading may not be as simple as it sounds; given the various third party vendor software you may be running in your businesses.  But at this point, the “C” level suite has to have a game plan in place to deal with the remnant Windows 7 operating system, until vendors certify their programs with Windows 10. Time is simply not on your side!

So what happens when Microsoft ends support? Your computers will operate as usual; however, they will be extremely vulnerable to security risks. Microsoft will no longer provide feature updates and security patches after January 2020, therefore, Windows 7 will provide no protection against bugs and software hacks. Upgrade your operating system now or risk your computer’s security to cyber thieves and ransomware.

Now is the time to start by creating a replacement / upgrade plan.  This process helps you identify which systems need to be replaced, and which can be replaced the soonest.  Knowing how many are currently running in your network environment helps with budgeting and human resource planning, it also allows you to limit the business impact with a planned rollout and migration process.  Communication to end users is key, also making sure to offer some form of training will help ensure a smooth and problem free upgrade.

If your organization is running computers with Windows 7, time is running out!  Get started today planning your upgrade and migration path to Windows 10 before it’s too late! Contact Ryan Carter, CNA, CNLM, Senior Information Technology Consultant, at 517-886-9526.