2020: a big year for change
Microsoft is ending support for several software packages in 2020. Think about your business for a second; do you recognise any of the images on the list below? If so you needn’t be alarmed as a vast majority of businesses use at least one of these products so you’re not alone!
‘End of life’ software creates a lot of issues as Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates or patches leaving you open to a cyber-attack. If you think back several years, many businesses and public sector organisations continued to use Windows XP well after the support ended which resulted in many firms being hit by a cyber-attack known as WannaCry (a ransomware which encrypts your files and demands a ransom to be paid to get access back – although even this isn’t guaranteed).
It’s true that everything will continue to work after each deadline has passed, however, with the introduction of GDPR, one of the requirements is that you only use fully supported software. So, if you continue to use these versions of software, you will no longer be compliant, and should anything happen, the Information Commissioner will not be lenient with you.
Old Windows Logo
Windows 7 Desktop Screen
How can I find out if I will be affected?
If you know that your business recently invested in new server or computer hardware, the likelihood is that you’ll be ok, but you’ll still want to check with your IT department or IT support company. 1 in 3 businesses will be affected by the 2020 problem so the chances are you have at least one of these software packages in your business.
How can I plan for the 2020 problem?
The good news is, you still have a good amount of time to prepare your business for the change that needs to happen before January next year. The sooner the issue is sorted the better as it allows you more time to plan the roll out and deployment of new systems rather than rushing the project and making mistakes.
It’s tempting to sweat your assets and wait until the last day but introducing new systems takes time and it takes even more time for staff training and education. It’s prudent to act now so that come January your business is ready to move forward.