Recently a German subsidiary of Microsoft released a warning to businesses that if they continued to use Windows 7 they could face some serious consequences in terms of security – but should you be worried?
The Threat is Real
According to Chris Capossela, Microsoft’s Marketing Brand manager, Windows 7 is a ticking timebomb: “We are concerned when people use an old operating system 10 years and that they will buy the next printer will not work, or when they buy Fallout 4, a very popular game, and it will not work on a range of old machines. Also, we push third-party publishers and manufacturers to create great new things that take advantage of Windows 10 and, of course, make it seem old bad products, not to mention the viruses and security problems.“
Most of these problems stem from the fact that support for Windows 7 will soon come to an end.
Support for Windows 7 will End Soon
And by soon, we mean Microsoft won’t keep supplying patches for Windows 7 after January 13, 2020; but Windows 7 EMET (Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit) zero-day exploit protection ends sooner, on July 31, 2018.
Zero-day exploits are vulnerabilities in the software that hackers find before the vendor does and can patch it (hence the “zero”, because most don’t stay unpatched for long!) So as long as Microsoft keeps putting out these special patches, you’ll get an update from Microsoft that corrects the problem and you have nothing to worry about.
But once Microsoft stops supporting EMET in August next year, your business won’t be protected. Malicious hackers and others will be able to keep exploiting the security hole and wreak havoc on your business – worst of all, you may not even know you’ve been compromised.
Windows 10 offers Enhanced Security, Advanced Threat Protection, and More
EMET was an important tool that Microsoft used in the past to help fight against hackers, but it’s nowhere near as effective against modern hack attacks as the new security features in Windows 10. Windows 10 offers a large suite of security tools like Device Guard and Windows Defender Application Guard that use advanced hardware virtualization to stop malware and dangerous exploits from attacking your system.
If you’re an Enterprise user, you’ll get access to cutting-edge tools like Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection that uses advanced machine learning techniques to generate helpful reports after a breach attempt is detected. Windows 10 doesn’t just offer a great security experience, it offers a great user experience too!
- Your Own Personal Assistant: Every copy of Windows 10 comes with Cortana, a virtual assistant that can handle emails, scheduling tasks and events, help you find files and information across your devices and so much more.
- Better Battery Life: Windows 10 boasts up to 69% better battery life on all devices with its new native Microsoft Edge browser.
- Say “Hello” to Hello: With “Windows Hello”, a new biometric security feature for Windows 10, you can access your computer via the camera, a fingerprint reader, or your pin number as a backup.
Upgrading to Windows 10 is Easy
Right now you have two options to upgrade to Windows 10: In Place Upgrade and Dynamic Provisioning.
“In Place Upgrades” follow the same process as your home machine did when you upgraded to Windows 10; you just opt-in and install the new operating system on top of your existing Windows installation without losing any of your documents, pictures, or settings.
“Dynamic Provisioning” is for businesses that are having to roll out large scale deployments for many machines. Microsoft can help you make sure that all of your devices will be compatible with Windows 10, that you have the infrastructure in place for proper deployment, and ensure that all of your software and networking will be compatible after the upgrade ahead of time.
You will have to make the jump to Windows 10 at some point – better to start planning for the operating system migration now rather than later when support ends.