windows 7 end of life

Top 5 Risks When You Stay with Windows 7 this 2020

Top 5 Risks When You Stay with Windows 7 this 2020 1920 1280 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Windows 7 End of Life

Microsoft will no longer be supporting Windows 7 after a ten-year stint—as announced last December 16, 2019.

The purpose of this direction is for the tech giant to pour its ample resources into more lucrative, newer technologies. Essentially, Microsoft has squeezed as much juice as it can out of Windows 7. It doesn’t make sense for them to continue providing technical assistance and software updates that protect PCs using the outdated program.

The Impact on Your Businesses

First and foremost, Windows 7 is still being used on 39% of all PCs.

And a year from now in January 2021, Windows 7 will be used on 18.7% of all PCs, which accounts for around 281 million machines.

What does that mean, exactly? That even at under 20% of total usage on PCs, there are still over 280 million systems with Windows 7 in place. At such a vast number, it’s fair to guess that small to medium businesses make up enough of those totals. Especially since many owners might wish to sidestep the costly nature of upgrades.

Though, with the removal of all support for the system, keeping Windows 7 installed will end up being more costly than merely paying for the upgrade to Windows 10.

So, as a business owner or stakeholder who may still be using Windows 7, you’re likely interested in knowing what might happen after neglecting to upgrade.

Let’s examine some of the most significant risks involved in continuing to use Windows 7 on your PC and how it can affect your workplace:

The Top 5 Risks of Staying with Windows 7

Risk # 1.      No More Technical Support

Last year, Microsoft patched 29 Windows 7 vulnerabilities in April alone.

Of those vulnerabilities, 6 were rated critical with the other 23 being deemed important.

Think about it, that’s one month alone—and the only reason those changes were made was due to an extended support phase focused on fixing flaws. Those snafus on Windows 7, since it’s an older system, have continually surged over the years. Now, without support, these issues will be seemingly never-ending.   

Risk # 2.      Heightened Cybersecurity Risk

Studies from 2018 about cybersecurity in small-and-medium-sized businesses reported that 67% of survey respondents experienced some form of cyber-attack. On top of that, another 58% went through a data breach with employee or customer information.

These stats prove that businesses are already susceptible to these attacks. With Windows 7 now lacking the infrastructure to deal with these issues, if you don’t upgrade, the consequences could be disastrous.

Risk # 3.      Additional Costs

On a per-system basis, it’ll be possible to receive extended security support. However, there’s an additional fee paid to Microsoft per computer to obtain the appropriate security updates. Furthermore, the dollar amount owed to Microsoft will double every year and caps out at a maximum of three years.

The price begins at $50 per machine—meaning by 3 years it’ll be $150 per device. If you have around 10 machines, that can prove quite costly.

Risk # 4.      Falling Behind the Competition

As Windows 7 becomes more obsolete, more businesses will be using Windows 10. 

As technologies keep improving, functionality enhances. If you’re on an outdated system, the slower it’ll run, and it’ll be less equipped to handle the state-of-the-art tools that’ll keep you ahead of your competitors.

Risk # 5. Frustrating Your Team

When your employees end up with inferior technology, their morale tends to suffer. For many staff members, it can be a bad look when you fail to equip them with systems, programs, and software that isn’t – at the very least – up to date.

If you don’t update to Windows 10 soon, your team might get the idea that you aren’t invested fully in their success. From there, frustration brews, work tends to be negatively impacted, and you’ll have an office full of employees at their wit’s end.

The Very Real Problem of Malware in the Workplace

As technology keeps reaching new heights, so does its propensity to be malicious and dangerous. Businesses far and wide must be eternally vigilant in the face of these threats that can damage both their reputation and bottom line.

For instance, recently, Landry’s, Inc., an American, privately owned, multi-brand dining, hospitality, entertainment, and gaming corporation, identified malware on its payment processing system.

The malware was designed to access payment card data from cards used in person. Interestingly, the card data wasn’t readable due to the end-to-end encryption technology used at points-of-sale. So, the malware was prevented from accessing payment card data.

Although this hasn’t occurred on a Windows 7, these attacks come from everywhere when sensitive information or money is involved. As proven by Landry’s, with state-of-the-art systems in place, these cyber breaches situations can be nipped in the bud.

So how do you mitigate these risks?

The short answer is to move to Windows 10 to receive the full support from Microsoft. This can be done by upgrading your operating system on your existing PC’s, assuming your hardware is capable of handling the demands of a modern operating system. If you PC is more than 3 or 4 years old, it is probably more cost effective to simply replace the PC.

Windows 7 to Windows 10 migration

When should your business move away from Windows 7 and why?

When should your business move away from Windows 7 and why? 1000 662 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

If your business is still running Windows 7, you have probably already had a conversation or two about upgrading to Windows 10. While most of the advantages of Windows 10 are pretty obvious, there may be some serious repercussions to not upgrading that you should also consider. At this point, it’s more than just a “nice to have” – it’s a necessity that you can’t afford to pass over.

Still and all, almost half of the computers in the world that run on a Windows operating system are running Windows 7. Windows 10, however, continues to gain ground in this space, as its value and feature set is seen more and more as necessary to modern workflows.

So, in answer to the question of “when” – the answer is definitely “now”, or at the very least, “soon”.

Windows 7 instability issues

Microsoft warns that Windows 7 is insecure, and can even be dangerous to use. Since it does not operate as Windows 10 does (self-updating SaaS), updates must be done manually and regularly. If you’ve been on this operating system for a while, you likely have a workflow that includes this action, but what you may not know is that pretty soon, Microsoft will cease to push out security patches and updates for Windows 7 altogether.

Ultimately, if you decide to wait, you are just delaying the inevitable and may be putting your company and its data at risk. In fact, Microsoft themselves continue to urge Windows 7 users to begin their migration as soon as possible, because the patches being issued may not be enough to keep it secure.

Cost of operation will continue to rise

You could continue to use Windows 7 if you are paying extra for a Microsoft Custom Support Agreement, but the cost of remediation, if you are indeed affected by a malicious attack may be astronomical.

By comparison, Windows 10 is fully prepared to combat these attacks and will continue to offer robust protection even as these threats become more sophisticated. Some of the ways Windows 7 will impact your bottom line include increased IT hours spent combatting malware attacks and an increased volume of support requests.

Why have your IT team chasing their tails when they could be working on something far more productive? It’s much more than dollars and cents – it’s good common sense, period.

No new features coming down the pike Windows 7 comes to an end in January 2020. Until then, updates will be limited to integral security patches, but there will be no new features added starting now. This means no tablet support, and none of the flexibility and connectivity we have begun to take for granted.

Additionally, there won’t be any new hardware driver updates, as most modern drivers are being written specifically for Windows 10 OS. This goes for all the latest software as well, so if you’re hoping to add new versions of other apps, very soon you may not be able to.

Windows 7 does not support the newer Intel, Qualcomm, or AMD chips, either; though this was likely a calculated move by Microsoft to push users towards Windows 10, there’s no use fighting it, because it just is what it is.

In 2017, Windows 10 is well-established Microsoft is urging Windows 7 users to start making the move now. With only three years left in its lifecycle, the gap is closing quickly. Having been around for a couple of years already, Windows 10 is well past its beta stage, which means that there are no surprises lurking around the corner once you do make the change.

Additional benefits include:

  • Advanced threat detection and protection
  • Post-breach machine learning
  • Windows Hello, which allows for password-free fingerprint, facial, or iris scan sign in
  • Automatic updates mean you are always protected and the newest features are at your
    fingertips
  • Apps can be purchased and deployed across the entire enterprise through Windows
  • Store for Business
  • Touch control via Windows Ink
  • Cortana personal digital assistant
  • Microsoft Edge browser

And with the upcoming Creator’s Edition update, 3D and AR functions will be added, along with many more features that could well prove to be indispensable to a creative enterprise.

Greenlight-ITC: your Microsoft gurus in Sydney and Melbourne

If you are still running Windows 7 and would like to start the process of upgrading to Windows 10, call Greenlight-ITC today. Our technicians are Microsoft certified, and ready to help you start planning your migration.