Windows Server 2003 End of Life and Compliance
In last month’s newsletter special attention was given to the date July 14, 2015. This date is important because it marks the end of Microsoft’s support for the Windows Server 2003 Operating System, which is currently used by millions of businesses worldwide. Last month we focused on some of the general dangers of continuing to use the Windows Server 2003 Operating System past the end-date, including security threats, a lack of technical support, and potential compatibility issues. Considering a large-scale change in your business’ technology can seem daunting, but it is definitely worthwhile in this situation. This month, we will take a closer look at the compliance issues that will occur if the Windows Server 2003 Operating System is used beyond July 14, 2015 and what that could mean for your business.
Compliance issues are closely linked to the loss of on-going support from Microsoft. Without updates and patches for software being run on this operating system, it is easy for software to become out-of-date. While in some industries this will not have immediate effects on the day-to-day functioning of computer tasks, this is a significant issue for any businesses that deal with sensitive information in industries where compliance is required.
Without on-going updates for your software, cybersecurity risks are greatly increased as your operating system becomes unprotected against any new security threats. Some may think that there are other routes to achieving cybersecurity through extra diligence or tools provided by a third party, but this is simply not the case. While some independent security venders are offering tools that they claim will protect computers still running the 2003 operating system, these tools are not an effective replacement for a server upgrade. Without continued updates from Microsoft, any business running the Windows Server 2003 Operating System will no longer be secure after July 14th. If your business is not able to meet compliance requirements after this date, you could face serious repercussions from your industry’s regulatory bodies
Many businesses have been putting off making the switch from their current Windows Server 2003 Operating System to an updated server. The task does appear to be overwhelming, and keeping computer software updated may not always be a priority for many industries. However, the discontinuation of support for this operating system is important enough that the shift to a new server should be made sooner rather than later.
Performing a server migration is a large task, but it does not need to be overly complicated or confusing. By working with your IT professionals it should be possible to make a server migration plan that will help to transfer all of your important information to a new server as seamlessly as possible. Even though it is tempting to put off making this switch for as long as possible, it is important to change to a new server as soon as possible – April 15th is not as far away as it may seem, and protecting your company from potential compliance difficulties is a very important investment to make.