Is Your Organisation at Risk?

Did You Know…

Windows Server 2008 extended support will be ended by Microsoft on January 14th, 2020 – that is less than 4 months away!

The move is seen by many as a push for users to migrate servers to Microsoft Azure. A feeling that is substantiated by Microsoft offering 3 years of critical security updates to customers who make the transition.

Make no mistake the scale of this problem cannot be understated. Statistics on Server 2008 usage are elusive. After some digging we found that lower estimates suggest 70% of Server OS installations are Windows, of these 40% are Server 2008 or earlier.

The Risks

The risks of not upgrading or extending security updates to your server environment are probably obvious to most people. Whilst the systems will continue to work the infrastructure will become vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Cynics could be forgiven for thinking that criminals will increase their focus on these weaker, unsupported environments.

The risks of data loss will increase over time. Not only will there be a continuity risk to your organisation but potentially a compliance and regularity risk, depending on the nature of your business. A high profile security breach that hit the headlines recently was British Airways – who received and eye watering, record breaking £183 million fine for a data breach. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48905907

What Are Your Options?

At this late stage migrating directly to Azure is unlikely to be a realistic way forward for all but the most basic of IT infrastructures.   There are several options and, indeed, a pathway that should be taken. Based on an understanding of your infrastructure your IT department or IT service provider can offer the following options:-

  • If servers cannot be upgraded or migrated by the 14th January 2020 customers may be able to purchase Extended Security Updates for 75% of the full annual license cost. This would provide some relief to organisations to start planning their options and migrating applications to Azure over a 3-year period. You should note that there will be a 3-year limit on this option.
  • An upgrade to Windows Server 2012 can be undertaken in a single step and provides the quickest and easiest solution. Obviously, this is likely to just defer the problem to 2023 when Microsoft intend to discontinue support of the 2012 environment!
  • Upgrade to Server 2016 or Server 2019. The options for this process are to either carry the upgrades out sequentially from 2008 to 2012, 2016 or to provide a clean installation on the platform preferred an appropriate for your environment.

At Platform 365 we have been evaluating the risks of this deadline for our clients very carefully and advising and upgrading them accordingly.

If you are unsure if Windows Server 2008 End of Life is going to affect your business or need guidance on the options available please contact Chris Young chris.young@platform365.co.uk or call +44 07985 686688 to arrange a free audit of your IT systems.