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Risks of Running Unsupported Windows 2008

Author: Pete Young | | October 23, 2019

Every time a company like Microsoft discontinues support for something like Windows 2008, many companies continue to run the software without support. Unfortunately, running unsupported software comes with a number of critical risks that can bring your company to its knees.

Make sure you understand the exposure you risk if you don’t upgrade your Windows 2008 installations before Microsoft’s support ends on January 14, 2020.

Security Risks are Multiplied Exponentially

Consider the lessons learned when Microsoft discontinued support for Windows Server 2003 as of July 14, 2015. An article published by Tech Republic reported that approximately 600,000 web-facing computers were still running Windows Server 2003 as of July, 2015.

It created a field day for internet hackers. Hackers are dedicated to finding vulnerabilities to exploit. In July 2015, hackers just needed to wait to find new vulnerabilities in Windows Server 2003. Once discovered, the hackers knew that many of the systems running that operating system would not have patches to fix the problem.

The companies running the unsupported operating system put a large target on their backs, tempting hackers to attack. The result of this cybercrime can be devastating in a number of ways:

  • Damaged or lost data
  • Lost money
  • Reduction in productivity
  • Intellectual property theft
  • Theft of personal and financial data
  • Loss of profits

It typically isn’t easy to get your business back to normal. Besides that, your reputation can be damaged in a way that takes even longer to repair. Small and medium size businesses are the victims of the majority of data breaches. Further, 60 percent of small businesses close their doors about six months after a cyberattack.

Preventing cyberattacks is difficult enough in itself. Don’t make yourself an even larger target by running an unsupported operating system.

Software Reliability Goes Out the Window

You rely on your systems to run your business. Anything that makes your software less reliable is opening the door to significant operational problems.

  • Small bugs will cause large problems. If you’re not receiving patches to software bugs, you’ll start seeing more bugs and spending more time trying to fix them.
  • Workload performance will degrade. You’ll experience a reduction in workload performance to the point where your staff will waste a lot of time waiting for a system response. This will cost you in terms of lowered productivity. And, if you use your systems to serve customers, the loss of customer confidence could cost even more.
  • Maintenance can become a nightmare. You know how difficult it would be to maintain a bug-ridden system. Do you have the resources to devote to an aging operating system? Even If you do, you’ll experience much higher operating costs.
  • Compliance will become an issue. It’s obvious that your data will be more vulnerable. An even worse problem can result if you have regulations that you can’t comply with. Think about the penalties your company could face for non-compliance.
  • Over time, third party software will stop functioning properly. It’s likely that the companies that supply your third party software will upgrade their product to keep up with market demands. Getting support for adjusting third party software to accommodate an outdated operating system will be costly, time-consuming, and sometimes impossible.

Your Competitive Advantage Will Erode

Staying competitive is what keeps you in business. When your systems are outdated, you won’t be able to take advantage of the latest features. Software developers won’t publish new applications in a form that supports every possible version of Microsoft operating systems. While your competitors are offering new features to their customers, you’ll be stuck doing things the old way.

Problems that affect your mission-critical systems will reduce service to your staff and customers. When that happens, you’ll feel the pain in sales and profitability. There is no good way to run systems that are past their useful life.

Final Thoughts

Migrating your Microsoft Server 2008 operating system to Windows 2019 or Azure takes time, planning, and the resources to get the job done right. However, migration is a much better solution than gambling with your company’s future by staying with an unsupported operating system.

Learn more about best practices for responding to end of support issues when you download our latest whitepaper, It’s the End of Life for Windows Server 2008.

If you’re concerned that you don’t have everything you need to implement a migration, Datavail can help. We’re a Microsoft Gold Partner with over 1,000 professionals who help clients build and manage applications and data. We offer a world-class tech-enabled delivery platform and software solutions across all leading technologies.

Get more information about how Datavail can help you maintain competitiveness and avoid downtime by migrating to alternatives that will keep your systems running at peak performance. Call us at 866-811-6676, or send an email.

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