After 10+ years, support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 ended on January 14, 2020. If you continue to use Windows 7 or  Windows Server 2008 R2 after support has ended, your PC or server will still work, but it will become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses because you will no longer receive software updates, including security updates, from Microsoft and other software vendors.

This article will give you a guideline for how you can proceed with your software/server update.

Windows 7 icon on a laptop.
Microsoft strongly recommends that you move to a new PC running Windows 10 to avoid a situation where you need service or support that is no longer available. The good news is that you can still upgrade your pc to Windows 10 for free by downloading the Windows 10 Download Tool located here https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10.

 

Speak with your IT staff about using this opportunity to also upgrade your PC’s hardware with a new SSD and additional RAM. This can help offset some performance issues when upgrading older hardware to the newer version. Additionally, this may be a good time to evaluate your entire hardware inventory and buy new PCs, while leaving a few older (upgraded) PCs as spares, just in case.

 

While we would rather not think about some of these potential problems, viruses and ransomware have the potential to shut your entire business down for days and sometimes weeks without any warning. In 2019, ransomware infected companies faced an average downtime of 9.6 days after being infected. The average Ransomware payment in 2019 was over approximately $36,000, not including downtime and productivity costs, which can be estimated at 5-10 times the ransom amount; not to mention the cost to your business reputation.

 

National Law Review has a good article you can read relative to this – Ransomware Attacks – Why It Should Matter to Your Business.

 

ALTA Best Practices (https://www.alta.org/best-practices/download.cfm?bestPracID=91&type=pdf) provides guidelines you should discuss with your IT staff to help protect NPI data and your business. Review your backups, disaster recovery plans, and keep your software and operating systems up to date!

 

Microsoft has put together some helpful links and guides for upgrading your server infrastructure from Server 2008 R2. See their website here for more details https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/cloud-platform/windows-server-2008.

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You should not act upon any such information without first seeking qualified professional counsel for your specific matter.