The countdown has begun for business owners who are still using Windows 7. In just 11 short months, on January 14, 2020, Microsoft ends extended support for Windows 7. What does that mean to you?

Microsoft operating systems have a 10 year life-cycle, with extended support being the last step. Once extended support ends:

  • Microsoft ends paid support
  • All bug fixes cease, no matter the severity

Small and midsize businesses may struggle with the challenges of an operating system reaching EOL. Change is hard and the time and expense required to update, upgrade, or replace computers, often results in businesses opting to keep legacy systems. This leaves them open to attack from hackers, increasing the risk of identity theft, data loss, and down time.

In 2014, when Microsoft ended support for Windows XP, many businesses and organizations that stayed with Windows XP saw an increasing number of serious cyber attacks, like Wanna Cry ransomware. You may rest assured that hackers around the world are already preparing for how to exploit vulnerabilities that will go un-fixed once Windows 7 reaches EOL.

Not only does remaining on an EOL operating system put your business at risk, it also puts those businesses you work with at risk. Frequently malware and email phishing attacks spread from one infected system to other computers with whose users they interact. We strongly recommend you seek the advise of an IT professional to determine your options.


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