Windows 7 End of Support to Increase Security Risks

Windows 7 End of Support to Increase Security Risks

Its end of life is here. On January 14, 2020, Microsoft ended free support for Windows 7, which was introduced in 2009. Updates and security patches will no longer be released, exposing computers running Windows 7 to malware, cyberattacks, and other security threats.

How vulnerable Windows 7 machines are can be measured by the average number of security patches that were issued every month for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Small Business Server (SBS) 2011. Microsoft’s fixes averaged 70 a month for these three systems that were phased out on January 14.

After January 2020, new threats will not be addressed as they have been in the past for most Windows 7 users. Unless companies transition their machines to Windows 10 or subscribe to Microsoft Extended Security Updates (ESUs), they will become increasingly vulnerable to cybercriminals.

Extended Security Updates

Only business customers will be eligible for Microsoft’s extended support plan for Windows 7 after January 14, 2020. For the first year of support, the service charges $50 per device for Windows 7 Professional and $25 per device for Windows 7 Enterprise for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates. It will become more expensive thereafter, jumping to $100 for the second year and then $200 for the third year. ESUs will then end in January 2023.

Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Professional users with volume-licensing agreements will be eligible for receiving the ESUs. Organizations that subscribe to Windows 10 Enterprise/Education or Windows Software Assurance receive a discount. Making one exception for consumers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 users holding an active Windows 10 subscription one free year of ESUs.

If paid support is not feasible for a company, it should make the transition at the earliest date to Windows 10 to keep their systems secure. The initial notifications regarding the end of Windows 7 support were sent out by Microsoft four years ago. Unfortunately, millions of Windows 7 PCs have not yet upgraded to Windows 10. At least 25% of personal computers worldwide are still operating on Windows 7.

Alpha Engineering Business Support

Choosing an expert computer technology-support provider is an important decision for your business. Alpha Engineering Associates has been a trusted partner of many companies in the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis areas since 1990. For affordable client-focused network consulting services and solutions, please call Alpha Engineering Associates today at (410) 295-9500.