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Businesses across the country have probably spent the past few months breathing a sigh of relief, as the stress of planning and executing GDPR finally subsides. Finally, IT professionals have been able to concentrate on running and enhancing their operations. 

However, another deadline is looming, which - if left unacknowledged - could leave organisations vulnerable to cyber attacks. 

In 2020, the following products reach the end of their lives, which means they will no longer be supported for security updates: 

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 
  • Windows 7 

Will I be affected?

The chances are, if you have recently invested in new IT infrastructure that is based predominantly in the cloud, you are unlikely to be affected by the 2020 problem. However, you should still take the time to check. 

For instance, if you still have an outdated Windows Server running on a number of business computers and laptops, or are still using Windows 7, you are one of the organisations that will need to upgrade in the not-so-distant future. 

How can I find out if my office uses this software? 

Most business owners and managers will not know or care what technology their computers and laptops are running, but IT professionals will need to know the ins and outs of the network. If you are struggling to work out whether you will need to upgrade, we’ve set out a simple way to do so below. 

This is the Windows 7 Start Button - you are still using Windows 7 if the bottom left of your PC screen looks like this. 


Why is using outdated software bad?

When Microsoft ends support for a specific piece of software, it means your business will no longer be GDPR compliant. Considering all the effort your organisation probably made before May 2018 relating to GDPR, this is something that should be avoided at all costs. 

Using end-of-life software goes against GDPR for a number of reasons. Firstly, this software no longer receives support, which means it cannot be fixed for you if something goes wrong. Secondly, end-of-life software no longer receives updates and patches, meaning it is not secure. Lastly - and most unsurprisingly - end-of-life software is a major target for hackers because of its limited security. 

Businesses that do not upgrade their software are left incredibly vulnerable to a cyber attack. 

What action should I take? 

The first, and most important, step an IT professional should do is be proactive. Factoring any software you will need to update into your budgets now is a good place to start. Of course, tight budgets and a ridiculously busy workload means you could feel tempted to wait  to sort it out, but doing so will make things tougher in the long term. 

IT managers should think now about upgrading in order to minimise stress in the long run, and enjoy the benefits that being on the ball early will do for your business. We've written a book that goes into more detail about the 2020 problem and the steps you can take to prevent any issues for your business. Scroll to the bottom of the page and submit the form below to get a free copy.

Evaris has the knowledge and expertise required to help you to with your IT security approach and requirements. We are available today to talk to you, contact us by calling 0330 124 1245, or email us at [email protected].



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