How to prepare for Windows 7 End of Life
By IT with Benefits on Monday, January 21st, 2019
As an industry we have been talking about Windows 7’s End of Life for a long time, but now we are at the 1 year mark and it’s time to get serious and come up with a plan. Let’s first talk about why this is important at all. Security.
Your first line of defense are fully updated and patched Operating Systems. When an exploit become known, the developers at Microsoft jump into action and program a fix to plug the exploit. These are released in the updates and patches your machine receives regularly. January 2020 will be the last update Microsoft will release to fix any of these security issues. After that, when an exploit is found and published, the hackers will have a frenzy because they know that a lot of businesses will not do their due diligence and upgrade in time. That is like leaving the front door of your offices wide open when you leave for the weekend.
What Steps Should I Be Taking To Prepare?
- Identify desktops and laptops that need to be upgraded or replaced. If the hardware is only a few years old you can upgrade the Operating System for $150.
- Make sure that any machines still running Windows 7 are fully patched.
- If you have legacy systems that require Windows 7, then you need to put security controls in place to keep critical systems separated from these machines. After January 2020 you do not want these machines on your main network.
- Get a timeline, plan, and budget in place to replace or upgrade your Windows 7 machines.
- Don’t forget, you will need to train employees on the new version of Windows you upgrade to.