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13 September 2019
Critical Tech Deadlines Are Nigh: Windows 7 and Server 2008 Warnings

Critical Tech Deadlines Are Nigh: Windows 7 and Server 2008 Warnings

Why SMEs Need to Care About Windows 7 and Server 2008 ‘End of Life’ Deadlines

The End is Nigh for Windows 7 and Server 2008 – Here’s what Small Businesses Need to Know

Windows 7 and Server 2008 DeadlineIf you are like any small business owner, you won’t have heard, far less cared about the ‘End of Life’ announcement for Windows 7 and Server 2008. 

Like most company owners and managers, tech savviness is not a top skill. 

In fact, navigating which tech and IT ‘announcements’ are just hype and which ones really matter is virtually impossible. Unless, of course, you have a good tech partner at your side who will keep you right on everything.

So here is the stark warning to ALL small businesses and charities:

Ignoring the Windows 7 and Server 2008 End of Life announcements may put almost half the average small businesses in the UK out of business. Either temporarily or permanently.

Yes, it’s that serious.

In fact, 48% of small businesses are clutching on to Windows 7 for dear life, according to Techradar. Microsoft themselves reckon 40% of the world’s SME’s still use Server 2008.   


What’s The Bad News on Windows 7 and Server 2008?

The bad news is that if you ignore the warning and your equipment or software crashes or gets hacked as a direct result of the Windows 7 and Server 2008 end of life event, no one from those companies will help fix them. After all, they’ve been sending out warnings and alerts about the shutdown for years now.  

Instead, if your systems are infected, you may have to send staff home, will lose invaluable productivity time as well as potentially weeks of work while the tech issues are resolved – assuming all your work and systems can be fixed – then pay a high ‘emergency’ price to a tech company to get you back up and running. What’s more, if you are attacked with ransomware, you may have to consider paying them to get back into your system.

Windows 7 and Server 2008 become end of life on 14th January 2020. That’s only a few months away. So, from this date onwards there will be no more support, and critically no more updates published by Microsoft.  This leaves business and charity IT systems vulnerable to newly emerging threats like ransomware and attacks that exploit these holes in security. 


What’s the Good News on Windows 7 and Server 2008?

One great piece of news is that if you have a Mac or Apple system, you have nothing to worry about.

The other piece of good news is that you can still use Windows 7 and Server 2008 as long as you want, wahay! Planes are definitely NOT going to be falling out of the sky on 15th January.

But just because you CAN use them, it doesn’t mean you SHOULD use them.


Why All Businesses Need to Upgrade From Windows 7 and Server 2008

The biggest issue with continuing to use Windows 7 or Server 2008 is that they won’t be patched for any new viruses or security problems once it enters End of Life, and this leaves your business extremely vulnerable to any emerging threats.

What’s more, if a large number of people continue to use Windows 7 after the End of Life date, that could actually be a big incentive for malicious users and hackers to target viruses and other nasties at WIndows 7 and Server 2008 users.

Another major headache if your systems go down will be GDPR.  Any personal data loss will need to be documented and possibly reported to the ICO, or you face fines and possibly being sued by those whose data you didn’t protect

Obviously, if your entire business gets shut down, even for a few hours, there may be a significant loss of credibility for your business and brand.  This is often underestimated, but no business wants to be perceived as being careless by their clients and staff.

Wannacry is a perfect example of this. Never heard of Wannacry? Well, in IT world, it’s one of those legendary cyber attacks that focused on Microsoft Windows operating systems in 2017. You can read more about it here if you are interested in epic cyber attacks. Basically, two years after the attack, the NHS was hit with an eye-watering £73m IT bill and a million computers STILL remain at risk because they have not upgraded and secured their IT system.

It’s the same old story. Those that were affected by this see the urgent need to upgrade and prioritise ongoing IT support. Those that weren’t affected? Well they may just have to learn the hard and expensive way.


What Small Businesses Should Do to Protect Themselves

The essential thing to do now is to organise an upgrade plan immediately.

Some PCs can be upgraded, others are not worth the bother. If you are unsure, pick up the phone and let’s talk. Or email us. Or Tweet, Facebook, LinkedIn or DM us. 

After all, talk is cheap. Preparation is cheap. Planning is cheap. Upgrading is cheap. Even organising a quick IT Audit or Health check is super cheap … Anything is cheaper than dealing with the fallout

When it comes to Server 2008 you really need proper advice.  There are many options for upgrading now, whether it be a Server Replacement, Cloud, Azure or other hosting.  But it does need to be planned properly to ensure there is no downtime for your staff.


Tech Risks in 2020

It’s only a few months away but now is a great time to get your IT and tech requirements mapped out. We do everything to make the process as smooth, jargon-free and simple as possible for all small businesses and charities, regardless of tech savviness.

Don’t be the business that says, ”I’ve run Server 2000 for the last 20 years and never been attacked” or “They only attack big profile companies” “If it ain’t broke …” or “Why would they bother with a wee business in Leith / Auchtermuchty / Bonnyrigg.”

That is a high risk strategy that may attract extremely high costs to fix. Far better to plan well in advance and get your systems smoothly ticking over with loads of security and support in place for any emergency.


Any Other Tech Emergencies Looming?

Whilst you are at it, now would be a good time to check over the security of your whole IT landscape; proper firewalls, anti-virus, encryption, 2 factor authentication, password policies, never mind equipment and software. 

☎ Give us a call or drop us a quick email and we will shine a light on your technology priorities with a free 30 minute health check.


Breaking News: Consider a Cyber Essentials Certification 

We wrote about the Cyber Essentials Certification for Small Business back in February 2019. Although the official deadline has passed, we have it on great authority that they have extended the deadline. So hurry up and get funded to be more Cyber resilient!

This is a rubber stamp by the government’s National Cyber Security Centre to prove to your clients and competitors that you take your responsibilities in IT security seriously.  It also helps with the dreaded GDPR.  

If you would want to bid for central government contracts which involve handling sensitive and personal information or the provision of certain technical products and services, you will require Cyber Essentials Certification, and it will become more pervasive in industry as time goes on, so get in there before your competitors.

☎ Give us a call or drop us a quick email and we will lead you through the Cyber Essentials funding maze with a free 30 minute health check and a friendly chat on if, and how to get started.

Over to You

    1. Do you have any desperate questions or challenges you or your team are struggling with?
    2. Is your IT system holding you back or speeding your business forward?
    3. Have you got the right tools for the job (by ‘right’ we also mean ‘value for money’)?

If your answer is yes to any of these answers, let’s start the conversation.

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© Illuminate Technology Ltd 2020. All Rights Reserved.
Registered in Scotland No. SC33493.
Midlothian Innovation Centre, Pentlandfield
Business Park, Roslin, EH25 9RE

design by rocketshed