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Support for Windows 7 has finally come to an end, but what does it mean for businesses who are still running on the OS?

Officially, it means you are running on an operating system that is no longer being supported or updated by Microsoft. It will continue to run, but it is now open to security breaches and viruses. The National Cyber Security Centre has even advised that anyone who is still using it avoids doing things like online banking. This is because there is a fear that if you access sensitive data on the system, it could be stolen.

Obviously, the first thing you should look at doing is upgrading your systems to Windows 10, especially if you use a newer PC model. If it is a dated PC however, you will be better off purchasing new hardware. This will avoid any system degradation that comes with aging hardware and will protect your infrastructure in the long run. Upgrading to Windows 10 may seem like an expensive task, but you have to think about the implications, both financial and personal, if your systems were to suffer an attack. You won’t get any help from Microsoft and it’s a strong possibility that without cyber insurance, you won’t be able to recoup any of the costs.

There is also the important matter of GDPR. If you are knowingly running on an outdated and unsupported system, you are no longer GDPR compliant and risk rather large fines from the ICO.

So what else can you do?

If you’re concerned about the total cost of upgrading to Windows 10 and you need a bit more time, you can have paid for Windows 7 extended security updates. But it isn’t cheap and line of business vendors will not want to support Windows 7 due to the risk. It is not a long term solution and the licenses will run out in 2023 with no further support being offered.

The best thing you can do is speak to your IT provider and find out what options would best suit your business.

The most important thing is that you act fast. Cyber criminals have known this day was coming for years and have been planning for it. They will have already deployed ransomware to target Windows 7 machines (the data lists are available on the dark web) and you will be at risk.

If you want to know more about upgrading to Windows 10, call our team on 0330 400 5465

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