A common cybersecurity issue affecting businesses of all sizes is the continued use of outdated operating systems. Employees may use such devices occasionally, or the organisation might rely on custom software incompatible with newer OS versions. However, utilising an outdated OS leaves systems vulnerable to cyberattacks, as developers no longer offer support, feature updates, or security patches for new vulnerabilities.
Windows 8.1, released in 2013, reached its end of support on January 10, 2023. Microsoft warned companies that using Windows 8.1 could increase security risks and impact compliance obligations. Here’s what you need to know about the retirement of Windows 8.1.
- The OS Will Still Function, But with Increased Risk
Though an operating system doesn’t cease to function after reaching its end of life, it becomes significantly less secure due to the lack of support.
- No More Security Patches for Your System
When an OS reaches its end of life, developers stop providing security patches, leaving devices vulnerable to hacks. Approximately 61% of corporate network security vulnerabilities are over five years old.
- Upgrade Options: Windows 10 or Windows 11
If you’re still using Windows 8.1, consider upgrading to either Windows 10 or Windows 11. Note that your device may not meet the system requirements for one or both upgrades, requiring a new device purchase. Microsoft doesn’t offer a free upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 or 11. Benefits of upgrading include enhanced security, faster processing, modern features, improved accessibility, and updated productivity tools.
- The Consequences of Not Upgrading
- Security and Compliance Issues: Failing to upgrade from Windows 8.1 puts your data security at risk and may lead to non-compliance with data privacy regulations.
- Slowed Productivity: Outdated systems tend to be slower, frustrating employees and negatively impacting productivity. A staggering 77% of surveyed employees expressed frustration with outdated technology.
- Incompatibility with Modern Tools: Sticking with an outdated OS can lead to compatibility issues with newer software and hardware, hindering your business’s competitiveness and growth.
Ensure a seamless transition from an outdated Windows OS to a newer one by seeking expert help. Our team can guide you in choosing the right upgrade or new system to suit your needs. Contact us today to discuss upgrades and assess your security status.