On October 22, 2009, Microsoft released Windows 7, an operating system that would turn out to be a big hit among users, remaining highly popular throughout the entirety of the past decade. However, when Microsoft introduced Windows 7, they pledged to provide 10 years of product support, and on January 14, 2020 this period will officially draw to a close.
Why does this matter? Well, without support, PCs running Windows 7 will no longer receive software updates. This means that almost 200 million PCs across the globe, which are still running the operating system, will no longer be provided with up-to-date security software. Computers operating on outdated security software will be unable to keep up with new cyber threats, leaving them vulnerable to hacks and viruses.
While everyone on Windows 7 will be at risk, the threat level is especially high for businesses, who have much to lose in the event of a breach. In a research report carried out by software company Cloudhouse, over 90% of the companies surveyed were still running applications on legacy Windows operating systems.
Cyber criminals are extremely adept at locating out-of-date systems online and given how many people are still using Windows 7, it is safe to say that any vulnerabilities will become a major target for exploitation. Thus, leaving systems without updates puts them at risk from ransomware and other types of malicious code that can bring firms crashing to a halt.
If people and organizations want to stay secure and protected, upgrading to the latest operating system should be their number one priority. This process is as simple as visiting the Windows 10 page, downloading the upgrade tool onto your PC, and installing the latest edition. Although the cost of a major upgrade may be a bitter pill to swallow for some people, it is undoubtedly better to bite the bullet now, rather than pick up the pieces after a cyber-attack.
Although upgrading is a vital first step, it should not be seen as the end of the security process. Multitudes of malware types including ransomware, designed to exploit new weaknesses in Windows, are created and deployed every year. With major hacks and breaches hitting headlines frequently, it’s more important than ever to keep your computer protected with regularly updated security software.
ESET antivirus for Windows gives you the best system performance and is continually being updated to guard against the latest threats. To find out how ESET’s range of cybersecurity solutions can protect you at home and at work, head to www.eset.ee.