Windows 2003 reached “end-of-life” earlier this year, but for better or worse the OS still works. The “for better” part is that your operations continue to chug along without a hitch. But the “for worse” side of the equation is that, when you need support, you won’t get any from Microsoft. And overall security will continue to decline as more threats are introduced and no security patches are issued to protect against them. It was good while it lasted, but honestly everyone will be better off if you move on from 2003 sooner rather than later. Read on for why it’s time.
The Tough Truth About Windows 2003
Your next move should be to take action rather than to remain complacent. The threats to your company’s security are real, and while simply updating your servers won’t completely protect the enterprise, leaving them vulnerable could be seen as irresponsible. Here are four issues to consider as you contemplate migrating from Windows Server 2003 to 2012.
- Your server is not alone. It’s connected to your entire network, to many of your partners and to the world in general. Intrusions and breaches can spread from your server environment through your network and to any computers connected to them. Conversely, any computers connected through your own network and externally through the Internet can be sources of infections, and your server OS is a critical layer in your overall security strategy.
- The applications that run on your server live on the server’s OS. Even though you keep the applications updated with current patches, they remain vulnerable to intrusion coming though the underlying OS. Intruders may target vulnerabilities they find in updated versions of applications that are left exposed by unpatched Windows Server 2003 but protected by Windows Server 2012’s security enhancements.
- Compliance with legal and legislative regulations is a significant issue, particularly for companies in the healthcare, insurance, financial and even e-commerce arenas. With the end of support for Windows Server 2003, the security demanded by related regulations becomes questionable and risky. Even if you never experience a data breach, the fact that your servers are running vulnerable versions of an operating system can mean they are out of compliance with regulations and liable for penalties or sanctions.
- You’re wasting time and money by devoting resources to protect an operating system that is out of date. The individual efforts may not seem significant, but over time they accumulate. Of course, one reason to continue running a decommissioned operating system is to run outdated applications that don’t run on newer versions of the operating system. To be sure, some enterprises depend on applications that run critical parts of their operations, and the applications have either not been updated or the companies that created them are out of business. While changing to a new and updated application is sure to require significant effort and expense, the downside to staying with the status quo is likely to be much more expensive than the upgrade.
Make the Move to Windows 2012
These considerations should be enough to convince you to make the upgrade from Windows Server 2003 to 2012, but this is by no means an exhaustive list. We are ready to help with any migration, large or small. And, we can easily give you a few more reasons why running 2003 has consequences that should keep you up at night.