Microsoft officially announced that support for their Windows 7 operating system ended on January 14th 2020. We published this news through a blog recently and spoke about how this changes the relationship between Windows 7 users and Seqrite products.
We are reiterating this topic due to the recent issue that multiple Windows 7 users faced, about getting an error message for not being able to ‘Shut Down’ or ‘Restart’ their computers. While Quick Heal Technologies is proud to be one of the first ones to point out and suggest a workaround to this issue, this severly indicates that the repercussions of Microsoft ending support for their ‘Windows 7’ Operating System has already begun.
Windows 7 users at severe risk
Enterprises which still continue to use Windows 7 will find themselves at risk now. They are likely to possess more data than an average individual user. For a potential attacker, such enterprises will represent promising targets. It is not a situation to be underestimated.
The United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre, in fact, took cognizance of the fact, encouraging people to upgrade devices currently running Windows 7, while also stating, “We would urge those using the software after the deadline to replace unsupported devices as soon as possible, to move sensitive data to a supported device and not to use them for tasks like accessing bank and other sensitive accounts. They should also consider accessing email from a different device.”
However, enterprises continue to struggle with migration from Windows 7 to Windows 10. A survey of over 200 IT decision-makers by Kollective in July 2019 found that while 77% of businesses had completed their migration to Windows 10, 18% of large enterprises had not migrated to Windows 10 yet with the survey estimating the cost of Windows 7 end of support deadline for an enterprise running 10,000 machines at USD 500,000.
If the above points were not persuasive enough, here are a few more solutions to the issues that prevent enterprises from migrating to Windows 10:
Enterprises, especially large ones, cite a common excuse that the costs involved in moving a huge number of systems to Windows 10 make it a big point of contention. While there is no doubt that there are substantial costs involved in a large-scale migration, enterprises must also consider the risk vs. reward analysis. Not upgrading to Windows 10 represents a significant financial and reputational risk for the enterprise. How much of a risk? Well, the average cost of a data breach was $3.86 million in 2018.
Productivity will suffer
Many organizations fear a loss of productivity if they attempt a large-scale migration across their systems. They worry that employees used to working on Windows 7 will find it difficult to adjust to the new OS, resulting in delays and a lengthening of timelines. However, there are workarounds to it – Microsoft offers features through which the Windows 10 UI can be made to resemble Windows 7, ensuring employees are comfortable with working on the new OS.
Unfortunately, the sobering fact is that Windows 7 is just not a viable option anymore for enterprises. It’s time enterprises bite the bullet and move to Windows 10 or risk the very real danger of massive cyberattacks.