Keeping up with technology advances may seem like a luxury for some businesses, but it is really a necessity, particularly to protect your company from cybersecurity risks. One key area that requires continual updating for security purposes is operating systems. As new versions are released, older versions eventually get phased out, as is happening with Windows 7 end of support. After January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates and ongoing support for Windows 7.

While you may think you can get by without upgrades and support or you don’t want to deal with migrating to a new operating system, the risks of continuing to use Windows 7 after its end of support date loom too large to ignore. These risks include:

Missing Out on Security Patches

According to a recent study, 95% of data breaches could have easily been prevented with simple cybersecurity practices such as by staying up-to-date with security patches. Following Windows 7 end of support, you’ll no longer receive these patches from Microsoft, and third-party solutions may be insufficient to plug any gaps in the operating system’s security environment.

Consider the case of the WannaCry ransomware attack. Shortly before the attack was launched and affected a number of prominent organizations such as the UK’s National Health Service, Microsoft released a patch to fix the security hole that made the cyberattack possible. Yet many organizations did not update their systems, thereby leaving them vulnerable. Thus, if you use an operating system that’s past its end of support, you won’t be able to apply security patches which could leave you exposed to more cyberattacks.

Being Unable to Update or Run Certain Applications

In addition to ending support for security patches, Windows 7 end of support also means that Microsoft will no longer release software upgrades after that date.  You also won’t be able to run certain applications. Not only does that mean that your computer may start to run slower without the latest software upgrades, but you also may leave yourself vulnerable to security risks by not being able to use the latest versions of applications such as internet browsers and Microsoft Office.

For example, Office 2019 is not supported on Windows 7, and Internet Explorer will not be supported following Windows 7 end of support. By being limited with what you can run on Windows 7, you may not be able to use applications with the latest security features. Office 365 on Windows 7 will still receive security updates through January 2023, but it won’t receive any features updates after Windows 7 end of support, which can limit its functionality and cause you to try workarounds that expose you to new security threats.

Losing Support Services

Lastly, following the Windows 7 end of support date, Microsoft will no longer provide support services for Windows 7. That means if you run into any technical issues with your operating system, Microsoft will be unable to help you out. Staying ahead of cybersecurity threats requires swift action, and without technical support from Microsoft, you limit your ability to stay safe.

Seamlessly Migrate to Windows 10

In order to avoid the security and technical risks of sticking with Windows 7 after its end of support date, it’s best to migrate to the most up-to-date operating system, Windows 10, along with Office 365 ProPlus. This way, you can receive all the latest security updates and technical features that help your business run smoothly and safely.

You don’t have to migrate alone. We know that doing so can seem overwhelming, but working with a Microsoft Gold Partner like Peters & Associates can make the transition seamless. We have deep experience across Microsoft operating systems and Office suites, and we specialize in helping companies easily migrate from Windows 7 to Windows 10 with Office 365 ProPlus.

Get in touch with Peters before the holiday season ramps up so you can have peace of mind with a successful migration to the latest operating system.