Many of us upgrade our phone every couple of years. Doing so ensures you maintain functionality and continue to receive support. But how often do we update our business IT systems; hardware, software and infrastructure?
The answer is probably not enough.
IT maintenance and security are an ongoing job, so purchasing the hardware, installing the software and activating anti-virus, anti-ransomware and anti-malware software is only the beginning…
For many small businesses, the operating system which comes with the new computer is the one which is used. And used. And used.
And there is nothing wrong with that – for a time.
But eventually, you will start to notice functionality issues and the system becomes slow and unresponsive. Whilst you can work around that it’s not ideal. And eventually there will come a point where this will also become a major security issue.
For example, at the beginning of 2020 Windows 7 reached the end of life. Maybe you still have a system using Windows 7. Maybe it still does the job even if it is slow.
However, by continuing to use Windows 7 you are setting yourself up to be the target of cybercriminals, malware, and ransomware. As Microsoft no longer supports Windows 7, they are no longer updating the system and fixing the bugs, meaning cybercriminals are finding it easier to hack into.
If this happens then Microsoft will help you, right? Wrong. As Windows 7 has reached its end of life Microsoft is under no obligation to support you. Which means you are on your own with the hackers.
Not only this, but Microsoft have now set the count-down for Windows 10 end of life! With W10 ceasing to receive support and security fixes from October 14, 2025.
If you do have an old operating system it is better to upgrade to a newer version before it reaches the end of life, or before it becomes glitchy – that way your business remains at the forefront of your industry.
Buying new computers, laptops and servers can be expensive, especially if you have a team of staff. However, it is essential for the continued success and productivity of your business.
Think back to the mobile phone analogy. Every couple of years most people upgrade their phones, almost as a matter of course. But before you are due to upgrade you may notice the battery doesn’t last as long, it’s slow to open apps, updates take longer or fail, or the memory is constantly full meaning some apps no longer work.
These are the same concerns with computer hardware and the processors they run on. Once they are nearing their end of life, laptop batteries may no longer hold their charge, they can take ages to boot up in the morning, some apps don’t work properly and you may find documents from clients are not compatible and therefore you are unable to work on them or systems may be incompatible with other newer items of hardware within your office.
Whilst it is possible to work around these inconveniences this will affect productivity of your staff and the effectiveness and even, possibly the success of your business.
These are all signs that a hardware upgrade is in order. This doesn’t have to break the bank, as it could be that a cheaper ‘fix’ could extend your hardware’s life for another year – for example a new battery, a new processor or extra RAM. Or why not considered refurbished devices?
The underlying danger of using outdated hardware and operating systems is security – something that we are all becoming more aware of since our lives have all moved online. We all understand of the importance of installing anti-virus, anti-malware and anti-ransomware software to our desktops and laptops.
However, even this is reliant on regular updates. It can be inconvenient when we get a pop up about updating software and it is too easy to postpone it to another more convenient time – which never comes…
These updates are the only thing between you and the cybercriminals. The only thing preventing them from accessing your and your clients’ data.
Therefore, not updating the security software can end up costing you dearly. However, the same dangers are prevalent for outdated hardware and operating systems. The older something is the longer the hackers have had to work out how to crack it. And do so quickly, and subtly.
If you would like an assessment of your IT systems to see how secure they actually are, or are long to upgrade your devices, why not contact SupportWise today?