PSA: Still on Windows 7? You really should think about changing

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Based on a survey conducted by Kaspersky, roughly 10 per cent of business users and 17 per cent of consumer users in Singapore are still using Windows 7 which Microsoft declared as being at the end of life in January 2020 .

While it still works fine and it does everything you need it to do, users need to be aware just what end-of-life really means for them.

It means that no more updates will be issued by the vendor, including critical security fixes. This means that your PC will be left vulnerable to hackers with commonly known exploits being left wide open. Business users can pay for extended support, but it all ends up as an additional business expense.

In a blog post, Microsoft outlined the benefits of moving to Windows 10. They also published an online FAQ to help users transition to Windows 10.

Replacing an obsolete OS

According to Oleg Gorobets, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Kaspersky:

Even if you think you are vigilant and protected while online, updating your OS is an essential element of security that should not be overlooked, regardless of any third-party security solution’s presence. If OS is obsolete, it can no longer receive these critical updates.

Knowing the risks of an end-of-life operating system is a good start but acting on that knowledge is a smart way to finish. So, to protect yourself, or your business, Kaspersky recommends the following:

  • Use an up-to-date version of the OS and make sure the auto-update feature is enabled.
  • If upgrading to the latest OS version is not possible, organisations should consider this attack vector in their threat model and ensure smart separation of vulnerable nodes from the rest of the network.
  • Use solutions with exploit prevention technologies, which help to reduce the risk of exploitation of unpatched vulnerabilities that can be found in obsolete OS (Windows 7 and earlier).

This article was first published in Hardware Zone.