Windows 7 support ended in January, so if your organization is still using the platform, you might be wondering if you really need to upgrade your tech. According to HelpNet Security, 43 percent of businesses are still using Windows 7 despite the end of support. A lot of these companies may be thinking, “It isn’t broken yet, so why fix it?” Here are some reasons you may want to:
It’s a major data security risk
When a manufacturer ends support for a product, security patches, bug fixes and routine maintenance also end. You might get by on current systems for a while, but you’re opening up your data to hackers.
IT Now reported that 58 percent of companies hacked in 2015 were using end-of-life technology. To ensure your data remains secure, keep end-of-support dates top of mind and plan upgrades to your technology accordingly.
You could face legal repercussions
Speaking of security breaches, when you continue to use operating systems past end-of-life, you put your customers’ personal information at risk. You could face fines or legal ramifications, or you could be held liable for identity theft or other issues that result from data breaches. Make sure you’re running up-to-date and state-of-the-art systems, particularly if you need to ensure HIPAA or FERPA compliance.
Your systems will be glitchy
Since updates, bug fixes and security patches end when a manufacturer discontinues support for a product, your systems are increasingly going to have glitches and break down.
This can hinder employee productivity and frustrate customers. Not only that, but when your systems go down, you’ll also have trouble fixing them. As time passes, it will be harder to find a professional who can service the equipment. Maintaining outdated systems could result in even more downtime and other inefficiencies.
It can get heavy on the wallet
While upgrading equipment is costly upfront, doing so usually saves you money in the long run. You won’t spend as much money on maintenance costs, and you won’t lose as much money because of downtime. Not to mention, you can
potentially avoid hefty legal expenses.
So, what should you do instead?
The short answer: Upgrade your equipment. Using the latest and greatest systems is the only way to guarantee they’ll perform at their best and support updates down the road. It’s also the best way to keep your data secure.
When you do go ahead and make the upgrade, you shouldn’t just unplug the old equipment, stash it in a closet and let it sit. Consult with a trusted R2-certified e-recycler to help you dispose of end-of-life technology securely and sustainably.
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Chad Hayes is the chief technology officer and director of e-recycling at Sadoff E-Recycling & Destruction. He joined Sadoff Iron and Metal in 2015 and oversees and leads the strategic planning and implementation of IT. With his extensive 20 years of IT and business leadership experience and passion for data security, he was the ideal choice to establish, build and lead the Sadoff E-Recycling & Data Destruction Company, a company of Sadoff Iron and Metal. He can be reached at [email protected].