Windows upgrades: How to keep your business safe from cyber attacks
Barely a week seems to go by where cyber crime fails to make the headlines.
You’ll most likely remember the major ‘WannaCry’ hack on the NHS in May 2017, when more than a third of trusts in England were disrupted, 200,000 computers locked out users and more than 19,000 patient appointments were cancelled.
At the time the NHS was criticised for using outdated IT systems, including Windows XP, and was forced to spend £72 million on the subsequent clean-up and IT upgrades.
But cyber criminals do not reserve their best work solely for multi-national corporations and organisations. Small businesses, too, are at risk in an age where a quick buck can be made by those with the knowledge to hijack and bring down computer networks.
That’s why January 14, 2020 should be etched on all of our minds – the date when Microsoft plans to withdraw support for its Windows 7 software.
In fact, the US-based multi-national technology company pulled mainstream support for Windows 7 on January 13, 2015, meaning it no longer provided non-critical security updates, made design changes, or offered complimentary support for the OS to end users.
Extended support – updates, bug fixes and paid support for businesses using the operating system – comes to an end on January 14 next year.
So why is that so important?
Firstly, it gives businesses that are still running Windows 7 on any of their computers a firm date to work with in terms of securing an update. Windows 10, as Microsoft’s very latest operating system, is the recommended upgrade, as it receives automatic updates that help to protect you (and your files) from disaster.
All OGP machines operate on Windows software and, as such, we have been contacting all of our customers to make them aware of what the changes mean.
It should be made clear that OGP multi-sensor metrology systems will not suddenly stop working. OGP UK’s dedicated service engineers will continue to make it their priority to ensure that technology always performs at its optimum level.
However, relying on an outdated software system no longer supported by Windows does make a network vulnerable to the sort of security threats that continue to dominate the news.
The 2018 Cyber Security Breaches Survey found 19 per cent of charities and 43 per cent of businesses had reported cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months. That rose to seven in 10 ( 72 per cent) among large businesses.
To counteract this very serious risk, OGP UK strongly recommending that its customers consider upgrading their operating system to Windows 10, to give them and their businesses complete peace of mind moving forward.
We have various options available to suit individual needs, with more details available by contacting Service Manager Ian Fletcher (email@example.com, 01283 585933).
It’s never too soon to ensure that you’re protected. As 2019 gets into full flow, perhaps it’s the ideal opportunity to take stock of your business’s assets to identify where Windows 10 upgrades are needed.
By doing so, you’ll be future-proofing your infrastructure and giving yourself the very best chance of halting increasingly aggressive cyber criminals in their tracks.
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