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Support for Windows Server 2003 ends in July!

‘Windows Server 2003 end-of-life is the biggest security threat of 2015’

On 14 July 2015, Microsoft will be ending ALL support for Windows Server 2003 including Small Business Server 2003.  This brings security risks and vulnerabilities to businesses, including:

  • Goodbye Windows Server 2003No fixes, patches or security updates from Microsoft – security patches and fixes will no longer be available no matter how big the problem, leaving servers and applications vulnerable to security threats, downtime and unfix-able bugs.  To put this into context, 37 critical updates were released in 2013 alone.  Unaddressed vulnerabilities means data and systems will be put at risk for security breaches and virus attacks. 
  • No technical support from Microsoft – customers will no longer be able to contact Microsoft to receive support on server problems.  Users may not be able to restore the system or recover any data or applications that are stored in the server. 
  • Compliance issues – organisations within regulated industries are legally required to run audits on outdated software.  Many third party applications will not support out of date software which can lead to a fail of compliance audits.  Businesses working from Windows Server 2003 or Small Business Server 2003 after 14 July 2015, will not be adhering to the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance standards required to host Visa and Mastercard transactions on their website.  The PCI DSS state that companies must ‘ensure that all system components and software are protected from known vulnerabilities by having the latest vendor-supplied security patches installed’.  The penalty for not doing this can result in fines or the bank increasing transaction fees.* 
  • Less third party support – other third party hardware and software vendors, such as anti-virus or backups, are likely to stop supporting their products on this platform too. 
  • More costly to run – the workloads and applications running on Server 2003 will become more expensive to manage and maintain.  Operational expenses will increase as additional security will be required to keep data safe. 
  • No benefits – the opportunity to take immediate advantage of new IT infrastructure and application developments, management tools and cloud options will be lost. 

Computer RiskWindows Server 2003 and Small Business Server 2003 are over 12 years old and no longer fit with the technologies of today.  As such, from 14 July 2015 no further support from Microsoft will be available should any problems arise.  Running this old, out of date software could expose businesses to severe risks and security threats.    

Software upgrade is recommended now whilst support is still available. 

We are urging all businesses with Windows Server 2003 or Small Business Server 2003 to call us for free advice on the best solution for their business.

Time is running out – call us for free advice – 01706 239000.  

Useful links:

Microsoft’s end-of-support statement and Resource Centre – click here

Hewlett Packard’s ‘Migration from Windows Server 2003’ Resource Centre – click here

Symantec’s ‘End of Support Should Not End your Business’ article – click here

TechRepublic’s assessment of impact – click here

TechRadar’s ‘Windows Server 2003 end-of-life is the biggest security threat of 2015’ article – click here

 *Details taken from http://bit.ly/1D306Kp and http://bit.ly/1IzqkbW

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