There are many reasons why your business can no longer hold on to the aging Windows 7. Putting off the upgrade has become an operating system time bomb for your day-to-day and has many hidden ramifications you may not have noticed.
You can continue to run Windows 7 if you desire; but, it is the IT equivalent to holding your door open to global hackers and handing them a plate of cookies, a glass of milk and a warm hug as they do what they see fit with your intangible assets. This is not an article to try and scare you, it’s a PSA to understand that hackers are real and Windows 7 is about to become their operating system playground.
End of Life for Windows 7
Mark January 14th, 2020 in your calendars if you are still running Windows 7. Why? Microsoft has announced that as of January 14th, 2020, they will no longer be providing support for Windows 7. This is a massive blow to Windows 7’s business evaluation. It marks the removal of updates, patches and support.
Windows 7 will be exposed to hacks, security breaches, malware and ransomware; put in layman’s terms, a cybersecurity nightmare. Hackers will continue to move forward with finding new ways to exploit operating systems, while Windows 7 will stay exactly where it is. Let’s take a deeper dive into what an out-of-date Windows 7 will be facing.
Why should you be scared of ransomware? According to Datto.com, ransomware costs businesses 75 billion dollars every year. Hackers obtain your critical information and hold it for ransom; requesting you make a payment to get it back.
Let’s use WannaCry (ransomware) Vs. Windows 7 as a case study. The WannaCry Ransomware Attack (2017) infected 230,000 computers in 150 countries, with 98% of the hardware operating with Windows 7; which, did not have the patch released by Microsoft months before the attack. (The Verge)
What if you just don’t pay? The cost to retrieve the information, lose the information and/or to operate during the downtime often exceeds the cost of the initial ransom. There is no winning situation when you are a victim of ransomware.
Malware refers to any malicious program created with the intent to gain access and cause havoc within computer hardware it has come in contact with. According to Google’s annual report, the amount of malware sites is down for 2019. However; this is not the whole picture.
Phishing sites have become the new trend for hackers looking to target individual consumers on the web. It gives hackers an efficient way to gather personal financial information for monetary gain.
Small Business and Enterprises have continued to become the main focus of malware sites; giving hackers more reward for their efforts. The monetary, political or ideological goals of hackers are met when they are able to infect a complete IT network versus an individual piece of hardware. (Comparitech)
3. Record Breaking Year for Malware (2018)
Although the amount of Malware sites is down as a whole, Sonicwall.com reported a record breaking year of 10.52 billion malware attacks in 2018. Hackers are becoming more efficient in their efforts.
What does this mean for Windows 7? Hackers are aware of the approaching end-of-life and they are prepared. There is going to be an increase in malware attacks on the out-of-date operating system for companies who choose to avoid upgrading.
Why You Need Windows 10 In Your Life
Windows 10 has made the changes it needed since its inception in 2015 and any standing hesitation is long gone. Windows 10 is a lean-mean-operating-machine for 2019 and here are 5 reasons you need it in your business hardware.
Base Security Features for 2019
Windows Defender Exploit Guard: This program will scan, quarantine and eliminate malicious software found on your computer hardware. For your IT network, it will isolate the infected computer computers to eliminate the spread of malware from system to system.
Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (Subscription): Software for an advanced look at your entire office with more available security feature and defense protocols.
Windows Application Guard (Windows 10 Professional & Enterprise): According to Webroot.com, 1.5 million new phishing sites are created every single month. How can you ensure that you are web browsing with protected hardware? This program allows you to surf the web (using Microsoft Edge) in a virtual machine. This means that contact with malware is confined within the virtual machine itself. There is no contact with the computer hardware or its affiliated office IT network.
Streamlined Client and Team Communication
There are numerous communication platforms to keep in touch with clients and internal messaging. This can lead to numerous headaches; including, wasted time of switching between the platforms and messages going unnoticed.
Creating My People profiles on your Windows 10 operating system will allow you to pin up to 10 contacts directly to your taskbar. This allows for easy file transfer, email, video chats and much more. It’s time to experience on the fly communication with your MVPs at the click of a mouse.
Update The Way You Update
Updates can be a pain. We are not talking about updating a single piece of hardware, but mass updating your entire IT network. How does Windows 10 improve your update experience? With the Unified Update Platform.
The Unified Update Platform reduces the size of download packages by analyzing the individual computers within your network and creating update packages based on the needs of that piece of hardware. This minimizes download sizes by up to 35%.
Sync Your Work And Personal Lives
Technology has changed the work landscape and home has become the mobile office. If you are completing work at home and want to continue it the next day, take advantage of the Windows 10 Snapshot feature.
Save a Snapshot of the open work to your taskbar at home. Ensure you are logged into the same Microsoft account at work. Open the save Snapshot from the taskbar. Keeping all of your devices connected is as simple as that.
Easy Computer Configuration
The last feature with Windows 10 to highlight is the Autopilot feature. Autopilot makes operating system configuration of new hardware and resetting of existing hardware a breeze.
It allows your business to save system configurations to the cloud to be automatically deployed whenever needed. This eliminates wasted time spent on configuring operating systems and maintains that all devices on the network share the correct configuration.
For a full list of features, specifications and requirements for Windows 10, visit the official Microsoft site.
It is vital to keep your IT network up-to-date. Why? Two reasons: Security and Workflow. Why should you care for these two reasons? One answer: an optimized IT network will keep your money in your pocket.
End-of-Life Windows 7 is a Security Liability: Limiting the risk of hacks, malware, ransomware and other actions from cyber-attackers will increase your uptime and prevent critical data from being withheld or leaked.
Windows 10 Increases Workflow: Improved functionality and ease-of-use will increase the productivity of your workforce and allow them to complete tasks at a faster rate.
Reap the benefits of Windows 10 and enjoy the needed update!