November 2019 Newsletter
2020 Is Around The Corner – Are You Still Using Microsoft Products Approaching End of Life?
2020 is going to be a year of big changes for a lot of Microsoft users, especially for small-medium business owners.
Why is that? Some solutions that small businesses have been relying on for years will no longer going to be supported by next year (including Server 2008/R2). Effective January 14, 2020 many Windows products that have been utilized and trusted across most businesses will be deemed EOL and no longer supported.
What does EOL 2020 mean? EOL stands for “end of life” which is an acronym used by manufacturers and software developers when a product will no longer be supported. So EOL for these Microsoft products include (but are not limited to) no patch updates, no monitoring and increased security vulnerabilities. Since these products are no longer being supported in the coming months, the safeguards designed into the software will no longer be 100% effective to protect your network and data.
But what does that mean for your business? Well to be honest, it means that the time to act is now before it’s too late! If you are still utilizing any of the products deemed EOL, it is time to work out a solution for upgrades to make sure that you are fully protected!
Below is a breakdown of the dates for when these products will be deemed EOL:
- Windows Server 2008 (January 14, 2020)
- Exchange Server 2010 (January 14, 2020)
- Windows 7 (January 14, 2020)
- Office 2010 (October 2020)
Keep in mind this not only includes servers but also the Windows 7 workstations that you may have around the office being utilized on a daily basis. Although they may seem harmless now, these could be the achilles heal of your network to allow a data breach that could take down your entire business!
Here is an excerpt from a recent posting from Microsoft regarding the upcoming end of support deadline for Windows 7: “…technical assistance and software updates from Windows Update that help protect your PC will no longer be available for the product. Microsoft strongly recommends that you move to Windows 10 sometime before January 2020 to avoid a situation where you need service or support that is no longer available.”
With the deadline of support for services that have become quite popular among small and medium businesses, you may be wondering where this leaves your company and how to move forward to make sure you are protected.
Don’t worry, you have plenty of options to make sure you are protected – the first, and most important step, is to contact your IT company to make sure that they are already in the process of upgrading your equipment and protecting your data. At this point, your current IT provider (whether they are in-house or a third party) should already have everything in place for the upgrades and/or have them completed by now.
How do you know? GIVE THEM A CALL!
You should never have to worry about calling your IT guy to check in on YOUR data… they work for you! And let’s be honest here, if you call your IT guy and he either didn’t know, didn’t tell you or acts surprised that the deadlines are around the corner… well it may be time to hire a new IT guy!
And if they are already prepared and ready to go, why not give them a quick assessment and grade? Like I said, they work for you and not the other way around. Feel free to follow this link for our 16 valuable questions every business owner should ask before handing over the keys to the kingdom! You may be shocked at what you find when you take an honest look at your IT… even if they passed the first little test of you calling to check in on your EOL Microsoft programs.
No matter what steps you take or have already taken, just be sure that you do not wait until after support ends for your Microsoft products to upgrade them… the patch updates and protocols put in place by Microsoft and your engineers are there for a reason. So this is not a suggestion, but rather a reminder to mark on your calendar next week to reach out and get this moving if not done so already.
If you have any questions, comments, maybe need some help with recommendations for upgrades (or maybe need to have a chat about your current IT guy over a beer), don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts for assistance and reassurance to know that your business will be protected after January 2020.