Windows 7 End of Life date is January 14, 2020 (and even sooner for those who didn’t download the most recent security update). Despite the fact that Windows 7 is 10 years old, it is still very popular with roughly 39% of computers still using the operating system. This means hundreds of businesses in the Albany, Syracuse, Utica, and Binghamton areas will be affected by the phasing out of Windows 7.
How Does Windows 7 End of Life Affect My Business?
Now that Microsoft will no longer be updating or supporting this popular operating system, businesses who are still utilizing it risk leaving confidential information vulnerable to viruses and hackers. Besides an increased cybersecurity risk, businesses will start to feel the following additional effects after Jan 14th:
- Decreased productivity for end-users and IT teams
- Increased operating & maintenance costs
- Reduced audit effectiveness & compliance issues
If you are in the health industry, come January 14, 2020, any devices using Windows 7 will no longer be HIPAA compliant. And it is not the health industry that will be affected by this change. For instance, businesses that process payments online have PCI DSS to consider. In order to stay compliant, PCI DSS Criteria 6.2 requires the installation and maintenance of security patches. However, there will be no more patches for Windows 7 very soon.
So, with the end of life drawing near…what should you do?
Step 1: Upgrade to Windows 10
The simplest solution is to upgrade your computers to Windows 10. Since both operating systems are made by Microsoft, the upgrading process is relatively easy. The layout and interface are similar, so adjusting to the new operating system shouldn’t be too hard.
However, if you run older hardware, you may not be compatible with the new Windows 10 operating system. Here is the minimum specification for windows 10:
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC.
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit.
- Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS.
- Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver.
- Display: 800 x 600 resolution
If your computer doesn’t meet the required minimum hardware, you will need to invest in new equipment.
Step 2: Securely Dispose of Old Hard Drives
If you find yourself needing to upgrade your equipment, you will also need a plan to properly dispose of the old hardware. When electronics age out, it is important to make sure it is disposed of safely and securely. It is best to enlist the help of e-recycling and hard drive destruction experts. This ensures that any devices and hard drives containing PHI are securely destroyed in order to stay compliant with HIPPA, FACTA, and other regulations.
Make the Windows 7 End of Life Transition a Smooth one with ConfiData
What does your I.T. Company do with your old hardware? We partner with I.T. Company’s to help them securely dispose of equipment through the end of life transition. With Microsoft’s latest end of life announcement, we are working closely with businesses in the Albany, Syracuse, Utica & Binghamton areas to ensure that their confidential information stays secure as they make the change. If you need help making sure your information stays secure as you make the switch to Windows 10, we are here for you! ConfiData has been a trusted document & hard drive shredding company for central and upstate New York since 1989. We promise to handle your hard drive destruction & disposal during this phase out with the utmost care to keep your business in compliance. Following every hard drive destruction, you will receive a Certificate of Destruction confirming that your hard drive has been securely destroyed. Give us a call at 1-800-627-4733 or fill out our contact form to get started.