Windows Server ’03 EOL Ends This Month – How does it Affect Me?
It has been announced that Windows Server 2003 will be completely ending as of July 14th, 2015. Microsoft will no longer be releasing any updates or patches to keep this server relevant, which means any organization that continues to use it are going to face a number of risks. Security threats and non-compliance will become big issues for companies that don’t transition – but what does that mean?
If you’re still operating on Windows Server ‘03, now is a good time to find out.
No more patches = no more protection
Even for a well-established server like Windows Server ’03, frequent patch updates are necessary for security purposes. In 2013 alone, Microsoft released 37 critical updates for the server – updates which were crucial for protecting any data hosted on it. In other words, if you’re still using this version of Windows Server, as soon as July 14th hits, you’ll be risking everything and putting your business at severe risk for trauma if you don’t find a better IT solution.
Non-compliance = damaging relationships with partners
No company wants to work with another company that doesn’t have secure data. If you’re working with a server that no longer has a support team or update notifications, you can’t possibly be meeting necessary security standards. Therefore, companies that you work with – like credit card companies, communications platforms, even internet providers – may choose to withdraw their services until you can move to a more secure platform. In turn, you’ll lose business or lose a lot of money to penalty costs – plus, you’ll lose the trust of clients who value data privacy (which is all of them). Non-compliance is simply not worth it.
Using outdated servers = increasing costs
On paper, it’s understandable why you’d want to stick to what works for you. There is, of course, a cost associated with migrating away from WS2003. On the other hand, that cost is nothing compared to what the data breaches or outages that you’re putting your business at risk for will cost. They’ll not only cause your business to take a massive financial hit, but your reputation will suffer and it will be difficult for your performance to bounce back. To cover those costs, you’ll have to raise your own prices, which is going to be difficult to explain to customers that just witnessed the whole thing go down.
No more updates = security risks
Since Windows will no longer be patching these systems or providing support, the risk for security breaches is extremely high. In fact, security breaches happen all-too-often on systems that are protected with up-to-date technology; and with outdated technology, breaches are almost inevitable. You’ll have no support team to call if a breach should occur. You should be taking advantage of this opportunity to increase your security – not allow it to worsen.
Switching to a different server is most definitely a project that takes some work and money, but it’s one that’s invaluable when the risks are considered. This peace of mind you’ll gain by switching to the cloud can come in many options, not just ‘servers.’ Cloud services like hosted email, virtualized desktops and hosted applications all replace the need for your business to own and manage its own server. And again, the scales are tipped in your favor because it’s cheaper to rent these services than it is to buy and manage them in-house. Some cloud service providers make it even more appealing by migrating everything to the cloud for you.