Small businesses across the UK are facing a state of emergency… And it’s not to do with Brexit!
A recent survey by our Director Luke Edge, has found that a staggering number of UK businesses are still using Windows 7 and have no intention of upgrading despite it approaching its end of life next January, this is known as the 2020 problem.
The 2020 problem – what is it and why is this an issue for businesses?
As of the 14th of January 2020, Windows 7 will no longer be supported by Microsoft this is known as the software reaching its “end of life”. Along with Windows 7, Microsoft are also stopping support for Windows Server 2008 and Microsoft Office 2010 in 2020.
Does this mean the software will stop working? No, it’ll carry on working, but it won’t be supported by Microsoft. Which means if the software breaks or is compromised, there’ll be no-one in fixing it; it’ll stay broken! As an IT support provider, I’ve seen this happen before and end of life software very quickly becomes a keen target for hackers; they will find loopholes and ways to use the software to get into your computer or spread malware. A good example of this is the ransomware attack on the NHS and that was because they failed to install updates that were available… Imagine if that update didn’t exist and the amount of extra damage that could have been caused!
What other issues will this cause for businesses?
Not only will the 2020 problem cause security concerns for businesses, it will also mean that UK businesses are no longer GDPR compliant! Organisations are also obliged to adopt data privacy by design (DPBD). This means companies have a general obligation to take technical and organisational measures to show they have considered and integrated data protection into all processing activities from the outset… This means that using unsupported software is a breach of GDPR.
How to tell if you’re affected by the 2020 problem?
To help you identify whether you’re using the soon-to-expire software and technology, here’s a quick guide to help you:
Does your start button look like this? If it does, you have a big problem in 2020.
You can also find out which version of Windows you’re using by following these instructions:
1. Click the Start button. Enter ‘Computer’ in the search box, right-click ‘Computer’, and then click ‘Properties’.
2. Look under Windows edition for the version and edition of Windows your PC is running.
Do your office icons look like this? If so, again you have a big problem in 2020.
Alternatively, open your Word programme in Office, create or open a document. To find out which version of Office you’re using, click the ‘File’ tab at the top of the document. On the File screen, click ‘Help’ in the list of items on the left. On the right side of the File screen, you’ll see which edition of Office you’re running.
What to do if you are affected by the 2020 problem!
The first option is to contact us ASAP and get the ball rolling on upgrading your system to a more modern, fully supported one. You can contact us 24/7 by email at [email protected] or via phone during working hours on 01252 938700.
The second option you have is to download our E-book on the 2020 problem using the form below, its full of help and advice on the steps you can take to ensure the 2020 problem doesn’t become a serious issue for you and your business.
The third option is to ignore the problem and just hope nothing bad happens… If you choose this option then feel free to contact us on 01252 938700 or via email at [email protected] when something goes wrong, or if you change your mind.