Security is not a question of “if” but “when”

In the medieval era, kings didn’t plan for “if” their castle would get attacked. They knew it was a matter of “when.” They planned accordingly with both defensive and offensive strategies that protected the perimeter, the walls and entry points, and the interior. Thick, tall stone walls, moats, guards and anti-siege tactics, all in their arsenal for the day that someone would try to storm the castle.

They also continued to upgrade their defensive strategy, as innovations became available and would not ever rely on architecture that was known to be penetrable. To do so would be to invite their demise.

If you think about your business as your castle, and your data as the riches of your castle, and everything on your network is a part of the defensive strategy keeping the mercenaries (cybercriminals) from taking your gold (data).

If you plan on “when” criminals will try to break through your network, you’re already steps ahead. Because it is not a matter of “if” they’ll try to take your gold. It is a matter of “when you’ll get targeted by a phishing campaign,” or some other easy attack.

What running Windows 7 and Server 2008 means for your network security

The when vs. if thought process is particularly relevant if your business is still running on Windows 7 or Server 2008 platforms. That’s because after more than 10 years Microsoft will no longer provide service, support and updates for Windows 7 or Server 2008 as of January 14, 2020.

Microsoft’s discontinuing support to these two aging platforms highlights the ongoing challenges of securing older hardware and software against increasingly sophisticated cyberthreats. As most businesses prioritize sales targets and operational expenses over capital investments in new IT infrastructure, the problem can compound year over year until a critical moment forces change.

Upgrade to remain compliant with PCI/DSS, FISMA, HIPAA and other regulations

In certain industries, FISMA, PCI/DSS and HIPAA require businesses to upgrade to maintain certification and compliance. Regardless of industry, however, the discontinuation of Windows 7 and Server 2008 changes the question of an upgrade from If to when.

As managed security experts, there’s plenty we can say about the risks and dangers of delaying your upgrade. Suffice it to say, from an IT security standpoint, using Windows 7 or Server 2008 after January 14, 2020, is like driving at night without headlights or car insurance. Again, not a question of if but when, it will cause damage.

Instead, let’s consider some of the opportunities that this hard deadline presents:

Gain peace-of-mind

Whether you go with Windows 10 and Server 2019 on-premise or go to the cloud with Azure, Microsoft’s next-generation platforms include integrated top-shelf security features rather than bolt-ons and extensions. It’s an opportunity to worry less about IT security so you can focus more on sales, customers and growth targets.

Move toward simplicity and flexibility

In addition to enhanced security, Microsoft has infused its newest platforms with greater ease-of-use than ever before. Setting up a new PC, creating new user accounts, and configuring and accessing apps and shared services is no longer an hours-long “deployment.” It’s an opportunity to save time and effort.

Change a capital investment into an operating expense

In many cases, upgrading to a new operating system or server platform also requires upgrading the hardware that it runs on. Instead of incurring this capital expense every three or four years, our Hardware as a Rental (HaaR) service allows you to reduce and smooth it out so that IT becomes a planned and manageable monthly operating expense.

Improve overall network security posture

With any significant requirement to update your technology, you have an opportunity to make improvements across the board. Even so much as a simple update to Windows 10 or a migration over to the Microsoft cloud offers tangible and immediate improvements in your network security.

Right now, Windows 7 and Server 2008 present your business with an unprecedented window of opportunity to save money, make significant improvements in your technology and improve your overall network security.  

Managed Security: Next Generation Protection

Microsoft’s newest generation platforms dramatically improve your business’s network security. Moreover, if you do it as part of a transition to HaaR, you can avoid the huge outlay of cash and ensure that your hardware and operating systems are continually maintained, upgraded and serviced. From a security standpoint, it’s like refilling the moat and repairing the walls as often as the castle manual dictates.

From there, it’s a question of posting sentries and manning the towers. That’s where our Guardian Managed Security solution comes in. It’s our comprehensive, worry-free managed network security package. It includes:

  • Security training and credential management
  • Access and security management for remote devices and workers
  • Dark Web scanning to protect corporate and client data
  • Meeting industry-mandated security requirements
  • Significantly reduced liability and financial penalties in case of a breach
  • Safeguarding your brand and reputation from breaches

It’s not a question of if you should move off of Windows 7 or Server 2008, it’s a question of when to do it and what opportunities presented you should take advantage of. With next-generation on-premise and cloud options from Microsoft and managed network security support from Deerwood Technologies, we can help you seize the opportunities afforded by this transition.

How will you use this window of opportunity to bolster your network security? Contact Deerwood Technologies to get started.