Facing Security Risks with the End of Windows 2003 Support
The end of an era is upon the business computing world with the retirement of Windows Business Server 2003, and Microsoft’s decision to end technical computer support for that product in July. This has left many businesses questioning what to do about upgrading their computer services. Many experienced computer consultants are also acknowledging the potential for significant problems for those who choose to continue with Server 2003. Although the switch over to Windows Server 2012 may be a considerable task, the advantages of new system architecture, as well as other more advanced management features makes the upgrade more desirable, rather than taking risks that are present by staying with an obsolete and unsupported operating system (OS).
Managing Security Risks for an Outdated Operating SystemThe decision to upgrade to a new OS is not one that should be made lightly; however, with Microsoft’s retirement of this popular yet outdated product, computer consultants say it is a concern all businesses should address. Until that time, a company may be able to manage any potential security concerns in several ways, although these methods are not without their faults:
Compliance ConsiderationsThere is another important aspect a business must consider with the discontinuation of support for Server 2003 that most likely includes any third party software running with it. There is definitely the possibility of increased security breaches that will not be fixed. Companies who store or work with sensitive data may find themselves out of compliance with federal or industry privacy and security regulations. Adding more third-party applications that are not recognized won’t help, even if they do provide adequate protection. At the very least, a business may experience failed security audits. Should they experience a security breach, this lack of compliance could become very costly and damaging to a company’s reputation.
The bottom line is that no matter what ways are developed to continue to use the outdated Server 2003 OS without the benefit of Microsoft computer support, there will come a time when the negatives in not upgrading will outweigh the positives. A better, more stable option would be for a business to discuss the process of upgrading their OS with professional computer consultants to outline a feasible plan for upgrading. A changeover to Windows Server 2012 may not be without its bumps; however, with the addition of cloud computing services, continued operating system computer support, and other important improvements, it will be well worth the investment!