windows upgrade

If you use Windows 7 you need to read this!

On 14th January 2020 Microsoft will cease support and updates for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 for most users. So what does this mean? In simple terms it means that the ‘patches’ and updates that Microsoft routinely installs on your system will cease, leaving you vulnerable to cyber criminals who use these vulnerabilities to exploit your system, steal data and money and infect you with viruses.

An example of a similar situation occurred in May 2017 when many organisations, including the NHS, were hit by the WannaCry ransom virus. Experts explained that this was because criminals found a vulnerability in outdated Windows XP software which Microsoft had ceased supporting and updating. Had these organisations upgraded as recommended they would have been safe.

So what should you do? You should speak to you IT supplier and find out if you need to upgrade your software and make plans now. In addition you should ensure that your system is set up to allow automatic updates and patching.

If you are considering ways to check that your overall system is robust and demonstrate to others that you take cyber security seriously you could consider getting your business certified to Cyber Essentials, this is shown to significantly reduce the risks of cyber incidents. One of the key parts of Cyber Essentials is ensuring your software is supported & patched.

Lastly, if you have a cyber insurance policy you need to check the small print as a fundamental requirement for many polices is that your software is supported & patched, which is something as fundamental as your home insurance policy requiring you to have a lock on your front door.

For advice on protecting your business, give our team a call on 01905 612336, or contact us via email.

Duncan Sutcliffe
Director, Mann Broadbent - Sports, Dance, Leisure Insurance