Businesses and individuals whose computers are running on Windows 7 should upgrade or invest in new kit, because as of January Microsoft will no longer be supporting this version of their operating system and will stop issuing patches and updates for any Windows 7 vulnerabilities. It’s likely that other software providers will soon follow suit and end support for their software when running on Windows 7, it’s also possible that internet service providers may no longer provide technical assistance with your internet connection problems if you’re running Windows 7.
Windows 7 is now a decade old and has proved to be a very popular operating system for Microsoft, with an estimated 36% of all PCs and laptops that are in active use still running it. However, once support is withdrawn computers still using Windows 7 will be open to attack from hackers.
Steve Costello of Fixed Locally, said “It is entirely possible that hackers have already identified potential vulnerabilities in Windows 7 and are biding their time, waiting until Microsoft withdraws support for the operating system before they launch their attacks. We strongly advise any businesses to take action well ahead of the January 14th, 2020 deadline for the withdrawal of support and to upgrade or replace equipment now.”
Taking no action could result in business owners finding themselves victims of cybercriminals, and fall foul of the GDPR and Data Protection Act if customer information is accessed or copied from vulnerable computers by hackers.