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Risking Business Data by using Windows 7

August 9, 2019

The technology environment is constantly evolving which means exciting opportunities and significant threats to our business and personal data. There are many ways to protect our technology but one of the most important comes in the form of security patches. Our computers run on operating systems.  These operating systems have built-in safeguards that mitigate the risk of a security breach but they need to be constantly updated to stop new threats that are arising daily. Security patches update those safeguards and close security holes.

With that said, Windows 7 is reaching its end of life, meaning it will not receive any security patches after January 14, 2020. Windows 8, 8.1, and 10 will be the only consumer versions still supported. After that date, known vulnerabilities will not be closed giving potential unwanted access to the computer. The ramifications are endless if this happens to you or your business. Hackers could do anything from stealing information that can be sold on the dark web to holding all the files on the computer hostage through ransomware.

Another issue that arises is compliance. HIPAA and PCI will not accept Windows 7 after the end of life date and other software (especially financial reporting software) will cease to be supported on that platform.

Regardless of what devices are being used, users need to be updating them periodically. All versions of Windows that receive updates will get security patches the second Tuesday of every month so, at the bare minimum, users should be running a Windows update at that time.

Devices using Windows 7 can still be used after January 14, 2020 but know the associated security risks and seriously consider upgrading to Windows 10. Windows 10 includes better protection against malware, ransomware, and operates similarly to Windows 7.

Ensuring the safety of client data is a top priority.  Please feel free to visit with one of our team members about any technology security question.

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