Microsoft is ending support and patching for Windows 7 and Server 2008/R2 on January 14, 2020. This will create a security risk for you if you have Windows 7 computers on your network. More than that, banks and software vendors are sending out notices that you will need to upgrade to Windows 10 to keep using their products or services.
We’ve got a couple of options for you to consider in this email, including one option you may not have known you had. For your servers, if you aren’t sure what you have, we’ll need to talk directly on the best option for you.
1. Ignore and accept the risk
This is certainly an option, but one we would strongly discourage. We do expect hackers to attack vulnerabilities in the Windows 7 operating system after patching ends much like what happened with Windows XP. The now infamous WannaCry virus among others targeted unpatched computers and hit XP computers particularly hard.
2. Replace the computer with a new computer
For older computers, this may be a good option to gain some performance benefits and security benefits as Windows 10 does offer some nice features like BitLocker.
3. Upgrade to Windows 10
This would be a less expensive alternative if the Windows 7 computer’s hardware supports Windows 10. Licensing is $199 from Microsoft and having performed many upgrades, the process is typically smooth.
4. Replace with a recertified computer
This is the option you may not have known you had. For computers with less importance, it can be quite a savings to buy a recertified Windows 10 computer rather than a new computer. Recertified computers are used, but in good working order. These systems are perfect for less critical use.