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Do you still use Windows Server 2003 in your business? Beware!
Businesses have a very short time to migrate away from Windows Server 2003 before its end of life in July 2015. Past this point, SMEs still using Server 2003 will be exposed to some very substantial risks.On 14 July, Microsoft will no longer issue hotfixes and security updates for Server 2003 as it stops supporting all versions of the operating system. Millions of servers worldwide are expected to develop security weak spots as poor IT management, misses the July deadline.
After the recent migration away from Windows XP, SMEs should be more aware of the dangers of using an outdated platform. However, a lack of industry awareness has left the many organisations unprepared and seriously at risk. As Microsoft ceases to issue security updates to Server 2003, any holes in the operating system after support ends will represent a glaring vulnerability that professional hackers will be aware of. The issue may not generate the same levels of interest as crimeware and hackers, but cybercrime would be far less common if security weak spots were not left, by oversights in IT management.
Also, given the age of Server 2003, the chances are that other software products beyond the operating system are aging too, including: applications, middleware, database products, and management tools, all of which may be approaching or already past their supported life cycles, increasing cyber risk even further.
In summary, the key concerns, SMEs face after the end of the support cycle are:
- Lack of patches/updates/non-security fixes.
- Elimination of security fixes.
- Lack of support.
- Application support challenges.
- Compliance issues.
- Inability to leverage modern cloud options from Microsoft and other vendors.
The death of Server 2003 is not only a threat to UK SMEs, but a global issue. The US Department of Homeland Security recently issued an alert which described the end of Server 2003 as a critical threat to the country’s cyber security.
However, most serious will be the potential for SMEs to fail compliance audits due to the continued presence of Server 2003. Failure to meet the obligations stipulated within the EU Data Protection Directive, the Sabanes-Oxley Act or any of the many sector-specific articles of Governance, can result in serious repercussions, hefty fines or considerable damage to an organisation’s reputation.
If you are still running Windows Server 2003, you need to migrate NOW!
For further information on help selecting suitable server alternatives and assists on migration in order to to deliver improved business performance, reduced maintenance requirements, increase business agility and better protection against cybercrime.
Contact Greenwich Communication Services (UK) Ltd