Windows Server 2003: Don’t leave your network at risk!
In case you haven’t heard, Microsoft has announced that the end of life for Windows Server 2003 (WS2003) is July 14, 2015. You can no longer get Extended Support for WS 2003.
If you’re wondering what this means for you, it comes down to this – there will be no patches or security updates, putting your applications and business at risk. New threats won’t be addressed, and your WS2003 systems will become a security risk and compliance nightmare.
Do you have a plan in place to protect your firm? Industry experts estimate that there are plenty of servers still running WS2003 that are soon-to-be stranded. Especially for those in regulated industries like legal, this will cause a heavy compliance burden. If your IT department hasn’t developed a plan to move you off of the 2003 family of Microsoft products (Server 2003, SQL 2005, Exchange 2003, Office 2003, Windows XP), you had better push the agenda. The hackers of the world are licking their lips, waiting for Microsoft to end support and then launch an attack on the sitting duck servers around the globe. Threats such as CryptoLocker will be much easier for cyber criminals to deploy on an unsupported operating system.
There is still time to put a plan together and plan an upgrade to Windows Server 2012 or even Windows Server 2008R2, but we recommend you start now. The cost of waiting until after the deadline will climb dramatically as few IT providers will want to take on that challenge without a safety net and support from Microsoft.
If you are not thrilled about buying more server licenses or even new server hardware, look into Cloud Computing as an option. It may be the right time to make the switch vs. re-investing in more onsite hardware/software. With Cloud Computing, your firm’s network can be installed on a Cloud platform, such as WAMS Cloud Connect. You don’t have to worry about servers or the ending of support because your Cloud provider is constantly keeping the hardware and operating systems up to date. In terms of investment, you can save the upfront capital expenditure of hardware and software, and instead covert that into a monthly operating expense that is scalable as your firm’s needs grow or retract. Whether Cloud or onsite, the message is clear – make sure you are not still using Windows Server 2003 after July 14, 2015!