The 14th January 2020 marked the end of the Windows 7 lifecycle. This means that Microsoft have now stopped providing support for users. They will stop sending security patches and Windows 7 updates, potentially leaving systems unprotected and at risk of hacking or security breaches.
Outdated systems are a god-send for hackers, giving them full advantage of a reduction in security to create new viruses and easily access operating systems. For schools, this could be disastrous with the risk of sensitive information suddenly becoming accessible to outside forces. We’re not scaremongering on this front, when Windows XP reached the end of its life, the NHS was one of the more newsworthy organisations that was affected by a lack of security updates and, eventually, the WannaCry virus which caused havoc in hospitals up and down the UK.
What can you do?
The easiest step to take is to ensure that you identify any PCs or laptops in your school that need to be upgraded from Windows 7. NCS Technology can help you to identify where there may be gaps in your security and can also check that your servers are able to run the Windows 10 operating system. Our team of IT Services engineers can also help to source and budget for replacement equipment wherever needed and can help to develop and implement a timeline for upgrading machines and operating systems.
What will happen if you don’t upgrade?
Their vulnerability could leave you open to cyberattacks and safeguarding or data breaches. Additionally, it’s always best to encourage students to use the latest systems and software, helping to meet Computing Curriculum requirements.
If your school uses other devices connected to PCs and laptops, for example touchscreen boards, their software will also undoubtedly require you to be using an operating system that has up to date security features.