clock.EOLTime to Upgrade or Face Significant Security Threats & Noncompliance Fines!

 

Much like Windows XP reaching end-of-life this past April, the end is nigh for the server counterpart -- Windows Server 2003 -- which will conclude extended support on July 14, 2015. Unlike the end of support for Windows XP, the install base of Windows Server 2003 is lower as a total percentage of deployed systems, with an estimated 11 million systems running the now 11-year old OS, according to HP.

Microsoft Countdown clock here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/windows-server-2003/

So what is preventing you from riding Windows Server 2003 out?

When Windows XP went dark, Microsoft continued to support Windows 7. Prior to the end of life, Windows XP and Windows 7 shared many security updates and were patched in tandem. When Windows 7 continued on its patch cycle but Windows XP was left behind, it illustrated very clearly where the vulnerabilities were on XP and how they could be leveraged. This amplified the security risk posed by still using Windows XP, as potential hackers had a roadmap to the OS’s security vulnerabilities provided by Microsoft itself. This will likely happen again with Windows Server 2003, and the incentive for criminals to exploit security vulnerabilities is even greater.

PCI compliance can be critical to the integrity and reputation of businesses. Anyone who handles credit card information or takes payment through the internet is at least aware that there is a security standard set by the Payment Card Industry. Many strive to guarantee PCI compliance and are subjected to regular audits to ensure their security is deserving of that certification. If a business is still running Windows Server 2003 come July, they will outright fail a compliance audit. This can have devastating impact on businesses who rely on digital transactions to make their money.

The worst-case-scenario for a business that is still running Windows Server 2003 is to wait. Not only will the July deadline sneak up on you, but it can take months to properly implement and execute a server migration. The actual act of server migration can cause downtime to your entire digital enterprise. Not many businesses could tolerate at least 48 hours of unplanned downtime. Migrating and upgrading a server involves cycling out legacy hardware for new tech, transferring the data, and getting an understanding of whether or not your applications will function in their new home.

Windows Server 2003 is a 32 bit OS, and every available upgrade option is 64 bit. The transition for applications from one environment to another can be painstaking to diagnose and manage. All of these processes take planning and time, which is a limited resource with less than 300 days until the deadline.

 

Don't worry - if you are an existing OSI Customer a plan has already been implemented to ensure your business is not impacted. If you are not a client and have questions about Windows Server 2003 End of Life or how you can migrate your server? Call Orbis Solutions Inc, Las Vegas IT Professionals at 702.979.1861 or by sending an email to info@orbissolutionsinc.com.