There’s been a lot of talk online about the impending demise of the Windows 7 operating system (OS) on January 14, 2020. After 10 years of support, Microsoft is finally pulling the plug on Windows 7 and recommending users to upgrade to more modern systems like Windows 10.
F1 Solutions has been proactive in getting users in North Alabama to move away from Windows 7 through our extensive upgrade services. However, there are those who are still hesitant to upgrade. Some businesses have only recently deployed Windows 7, while some just don’t see a compelling reason to upgrade.
So what will happen if you keep using Windows 7? Your computers will still function as they normally would, but there are quite a few issues that businesses can run into.
#1. No more security updates and technical support
When you use Windows 7 past its support date, you will no longer receive regular security patches and hotfixes needed to keep the system stable and protected against cyberthreats. This means that you will be exposing your PCs to zero-day threats, malware, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. It’s not a matter of if but when you will get hacked.
Cybercriminals are also well aware that many users will hang on to Windows 7. This means that after the support date lapses, they can launch more destructive attacks, knowing that systems will be vulnerable to cyber threats. This is evident in the 2017 WannaCry malware fiasco, which largely affected Windows XP computers.
Microsoft will also cease technical support for Windows 7, which means that businesses can no longer ask for help from the Redmond-based company if they run into any issues. For instance, if an organization’s files are compromised due to a ransomware attack, they would have to resort to expensive third-party services to resolve their issues.
#2. Incompatibility issues
Businesses rely on various software programs so employees can properly do their work. If you continue to use Windows 7, some of your applications will ask you to upgrade to a more modern OS for them to function properly.
Many programs will eventually drop support for Windows 7. And when developers make their product unusable because an obsolete OS is detected, this will lead to productivity issues.
Software incompatibility will also put companies behind the curve. If other organizations can work faster because they use a modern OS and software applications, then customers are more likely to opt for their services.
#3. Higher maintenance costs
Given that PCs running Windows 7 are more vulnerable to threats, businesses would have to spend more on third-party providers who specialize in maintaining legacy systems.
Microsoft offers an Extended Security Update (ESU) program for those who wish to stick to Windows 7. However, this will cost $50 per device, and the price will double in amount per year. Upgrading to Windows 10 will cost you $199.99 per lifetime license, but it entitles users to new features that can help them do their work better, as well as free feature and security updates.
#4. Compliance issues
Businesses have a legal and ethical duty to protect customer and employee data, so regulatory compliance is one thing to consider.
By continuing to use Windows 7, businesses become noncompliant with standards such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which both require organizations to use software supported by its vendor.
If a business fails to comply with industry standards, they are opening themselves up to hefty fines, serious litigations, reputational damages, and extended downtime.
We have already reached out to our managed clients and have tried to create replacement plans for these systems. If you have been putting this off, allow us to help you upgrade your systems to Windows 10. F1 Solutions makes new technology valuable to your business so you can ensure that your operations are ready for the future and protected against the latest cyberthreats. Contact us today to get started.