What to expect after Windows 7 end of support?
Did you know that from last week (14th January 2020) Microsoft stopped supporting Windows 7 and Windows server 2008 and 2008 R2? They deemed them End Of Life (EOL).
This means Microsoft have stopped releasing any types of updates for these products. So, anyone still using them now have an increased risk of cyber-attacks and are more vulnerable to security threats.
Thankfully there are still two options to mitigate these risks:
1. Upgrade to Windows 10; or
2. Join Microsoft’s Extended Security Update (ESU) program
So, which option is best?
In my opinion, upgrading to Windows 10 provides many more benefits than simply joining the ESU program. But if you’re not ready to upgrade yet, explore the ESU program. I have provided some more details on both options below to help inform your decision:
What does Windows 10 offer?
Windows 10 comes bundled with great features and vastly improved security to protect your business and customer data.
Windows Defender on Windows 10 provides full malware protection as opposed to Windows 7 providing only spyware protection.
BitLocker is highly manageable and can be automatically provisioned on most new devices.
Enterprise Data Protection which addresses the need for Data Loss Protection (DLP), includes a deeply integrated data separation and provides encryption at the file level.
UEFI Secure Boot helps prevent malware from embedding itself within hardware or starting before the OS.
Device Guard is the most disruptive malware-resistance capability Microsoft has ever shipped in a desktop. With Device Guard, an application must prove itself trustworthy before it can run.
Built-in mechanisms such as heap protection and kernel pool protection, which all help to mitigate high risk threats and reduce vulnerability to cyber-attack.
The operating system offers better stability and speed to help your team serve customers and deliver solutions faster.
It also offers the ability to create multiple virtual desktops and switch between these with ease.
It includes a new user-friendly layout with a great action center where you can control the notifications received and many other great features.
What does the Extended Security Update (ESU) program offer?
If your business is not ready to upgrade, join the Extended Security Update (ESU) program launched by Microsoft to support customers for an extended period of up to 3 years. Note that the program is designed to only offer security updates, so you will not benefit from any new Window 10 features.
What should be my next step?
Planning is the most important step. Even if you have the budget and resources available to upgrade your licenses and your hardware (if required), you should take enough time to carefully plan for the transition.
Upgrading EOL software and hardware should fall under a well-maintained service management strategy that aligns to your technology and enterprise strategy. If you do not have this in place, consider whether this is a critical activity before finalizing your plans for a Windows 7 replacement.
For example, would a virtualized cloud solution such as Amazon Workspaces be more cost effective and better aligned to your overall strategy? There are some great benefits from using a virtual desktop solution including ease of access, scalability, cost-effectiveness, and possibly most importantly, security.
Click this to read more about our Amazon WorkSpaces
Planning and making the correct decision now, will save you money in the future. The technology always evolves, and it is imperative to always be ahead of the game and ready for the change.
Whether it is a simple upgrade to Windows 10, a cloud based virtualized solution or defining and building a service management function or a whole enterprise architecture, we can help and are happy to offer advice and support.