Are your critical systems heading for the ICU? Prepare for Windows 7 and Office 2010 end of life.

Imagine being critically ill in the back of an ambulance, when just minutes from your nearest hospital you’re suddenly diverted to an emergency department suburbs away because their computers have crashed. Or, you’ve been booked in for a surgery to correct a life threatening condition only to find it’s been cancelled for the same reason.

Sound improbable? This is what happened in the UK in May 2017. How? The well-publicised WannaCry outbreak at the NHS, which resulted in 19,500 medical appointments being cancelled, and five hospitals having to divert ambulances due to failed IT systems1. The consequences were catastrophic; up to 70,000 devices including computers, MRI scanners, blood-storage refrigerators and theatre equipment were infected with the ransomware. Imagine standing in front of the NHS Board answering, “How could you let this happen?” I certainly wouldn’t want to be in that position.

So how did it happen? By not applying patches.

The impact of WannaCry is actually considered to be relatively low. Although, Renault and Nissan Motor Manufacturing halted production, FedEx, railways, education institutions and governments, plus many other organisations worldwide were hit, the attack was eliminated in just a few days.

But you can’t afford to relax just yet. If you’re still running Windows 7, Office 2010, Windows Server 2008 or SQL Server 2008, you will be exposed once again. As of the dates below, Microsoft will no longer release security patches for these solutions, and you will be vulnerable to zero-day attacks, like the next version of WannaCry, that crippled the NHS.

Save the date

Windows 7 End of Support

January 14, 2020

SQL Server 2008 End of Support

July 9, 2019

Office 2010 End of Support

October 30, 2020

Windows Server 2008 End of Support

January 14, 2020

 

With support for Windows 7 soon ending, upgrading to the latest operating system, Windows 10, is absolutely essential. While navigating the impending end of life deadline will add an IT resource burden in the short term. In the long run, the advantages of upgrading far outweigh the initial disruption. It is also important to note that Office 2010 ends life at the same time.

Microsoft is promoting Office 2010 customers move to Office ProPlus or Office 365, so that with Windows 10, customers have an evergreen desktop environment.

Security designed to protect against tomorrow’s threats

Let’s talk about cyberthreats. The cost of a cyberattack on an organisation is significant. The average total cost of a data breach is $4 million2. One in five organisations lose customers due to an attack, and nearly 30% lose revenue3. The median number of days an organisation is compromised before discovering a breach is 99 days4. As cyberthreats continue to evolve and adapt, the grim reality is it’s a question of when, not if, the next WannaCry makes its presence felt. However, taking a few sensible steps now to secure your IT environment can ensure you stay out of the headlines.

Now the good news – Windows 10 is by far the most secure Windows ever with comprehensive, ongoing protection that you can trust. A recent Forrester study found that Windows Defender ATP – built-in to Windows 10 – contributed to a 40% reduction in risk of a data breach and caught 1.7 times as many threats as other endpoint detection and response tools5. For user identities, devices and data, these expanded enterprise and cloud computing administrator tools, offer advanced protection for today’s threats. This includes facial recognition thanks to Windows Hello, continual upgrades to protect against unpatched attacks – like WannaCry – and full mobile encryption of data, without compromising network or application security.  Moving to a new operating system is the right time to review your current threat protection solution, so it’s a good time to assess Windows Defender ATP – you may even already be entitled to use it!

It’s also the last upgrade IT will need to make. Behind the scenes, incremental updates take place without any major upheavals to business systems, replacing the need for traditional disruptive and costly Windows deployment projects.

A win/win for IT and users

All these features create a compelling case to start the migration conversation, but what if we could take this one step further to achieve the ultimate protection across your IT environment?

Microsoft 365 combines Windows 10, Office 365, the device management and security features of Enterprise Mobility + Security. With identity and access control in the cloud, comprehensive identity-driven protection, and mobile device and app management for iOS, Android and Windows, Microsoft 365 offers the advanced threat protection that IT teams cry out for. Not to mention the lowest total cost of ownership, thanks to the simplified process of keeping devices up-to-date – save time, reduce cost and gain control. With a rich feature set that allows you to choose the right features that suit your business across 3 plans, Office 365 is a feature rich set of integrated products to help your business collaborate securely.

On the flip side, end users gain access to the latest productivity, teamwork and collaboration tools. No longer confined to the workplace, staff can use these applications to collaborate and stay connected wherever they are. In addition, enhanced voice and gesture interaction with devices, including the introduction of Cortana voice integration with OneNote and Office365, allows for complete hands free management of documents, calendars, emails and search functionality. Plus, information seamlessly and securely synced between desktop, mobile and tablet devices provides a seamless and flexible user experience.

Choose your migration journey with Data#3

Moving off Windows 7 and Office 2010 to the modern desktop and reducing risk to your business is critical. The benefits of Windows 10 for businesses and IT teams extend well beyond what we’ve covered here. As Australia’s largest Microsoft partner, Data#3 is uniquely positioned to support your organisation’s transition to the most secure, productive Windows ever. To determine how a Windows 10 deployment with Microsoft 365 can help your organisation, or to take the first steps on the migration journey, get in touch with us today.

1. Book a Modern Desktop Assessment
To get started, we recommend you get assessed by our specialists and understand your readiness, the migration path and how your organisation can benefit from a modern desktop.

2. Modern Desktop Proof of Concept
Once we have a solid baseline of your current environment, we can work with you to experience Windows 10 for yourself with our 5-day Proof of Concept program – take the opportunity to attend a series of technical briefs and hands-on labs.

3. Modern Desktop Pilot
If you are ready to migrate to Windows 10, the Pilot Program is an ideal first step. Over ten weeks, our Microsoft specialists will guide you through the processes involved in planning, designing, deploying and managing Windows 10.

4. FastTrack Ready
Need Windows 10 quick? FastTrack will help your organisation accelerate deployment and gain end-user adoption of Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security as soon as possible.

Need to move off Windows or SQL Server 2008?

Ask about our Workload Transition Offer.
If you are still running Windows and/or SQL Server infrastructure, this assessment will determine the magnitude of the end of support issue within your environment. As part of the engagement, Data#3 will transition ten virtual machines to Microsoft Azure (AU Central Regions for Federal Customers), allowing you to trial Azure and test performance with your own workloads.These can be non-production machines. After the assessment engagement, Data#3 would be more than happy to support a wider workload project to move the remaining affected workloads to Azure.

Learn More
If you’re unsure which option would best suit your organisation reach out and we will be more than happy to help you get started.

This is part one of a two part blog story, click here to read part two about confirmed security threats to Windows 7 and the cost of Microsoft’s extended support.

 

 

1. Tung, L (CSO Online). UK NHS Moves to Windows 10 in Response to WannaCry. [Online] Available at: https://www.cso.com.au/article/640632/uk-nhs-moves-windows-10-response-wannacry/
2. Ponemon Institute (2016). Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis. [Online] Available at: https://www.ponemon.org/news-2/71
3. Cisco (2018). Annual Cybersecurity Report. [Online] Available at: https://www.cisco.com/c/m/en_au/products/security/offers/annual-cybersecurity-report-2017.html
4. FireEye (2017). M-Trends: A View from the Front Lines. [Online] Available at: https://www.fireeye.com/current-threats/annual-threat-report/mtrends/rpt-m-trends-2017.html
5. Forrester Consulting (July,2017). The Total Economic Impact Of Microsoft Windows Defender Advanced. [Online] ThreatAvailable at: https://info.microsoft.com/WNDWS-Forrester-TEI-Registration.html

Tags: Microsoft, Microsoft Windows 10, Microsoft Windows 7, Security, Ransomware, Microsoft Office 2010, Malware, Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008

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