Warning: Support for Windows XP, Office 2003, Exchange 2003 & Exchange Server 2003 Ends Soon

On March 6th, 2014, posted in: Exchange 2003 by Comments Off on Warning: Support for Windows XP, Office 2003, Exchange 2003 & Exchange Server 2003 Ends Soon

It’s almost here. The deadline is fast approaching. On April 8th, 2014 Microsoft will end their active support for Windows XP, Microsoft 2003 and Exchange Server 2003.

What Does this Mean For Your Business?

In short, there are 3 very real risks you need to understand:

Risk #1) Your Business Will Be at Higher Risk of Security Threats

Since last April, Microsoft has warned consumers about the risk of running unsupported versions of these products.

Tim Rains, Microsoft’s Director of Trustworthy Computing stated that after April 8, “attackers will likely have more information about vulnerabilities in Windows XP than defenders.”

What does this mean? Essentially, your infrastructure will be more susceptible to virus attacks, ransom-ware, malware, etc.

Rains continued: “The very first month that Microsoft releases security updates for supported versions of Windows, attackers will reverse engineer those updates, find the vulnerabilities and test Windows XP to see if it shares those vulnerabilities. If it does, attackers will attempt to develop exploit code that can take advantage of those vulnerabilities on Windows XP.”

Avoiding these necessary updates is a major security risk and therefore a risk to your business.

But don’t take our word for it. What happened when Windows XP Service Pack 2 went out of support? During the following two years, the malware infection rate was 60% higher than Windows XP Service Pack 3 (the last supported version of Windows XP).

“Can I Update Some Computers But Not Others?”

You might be tempted to make the mistake of thinking you can update certain systems in your network, but not others – when in fact, this opens your business up to an even greater risk. 

If a computer running Windows XP or Office 2003 was exploited; other computers on the network could also be compromised – even if those computers are running later versions of Microsoft Office or Windows.

Overall, the safest option is to follow Microsoft’s recommendations and update your systems now.

Risk #2) You Run the Risk of Compliance Issues with Industry Standards (HIPAA, PCI, etc.)

Running unsupported and unpatched systems in a business that stores or transmits information will immediately put you out of compliance with many industry practice standards.

Risk #3) Non-Security Related Support Will Come to an End

Aside from security, the end of Microsoft support also means discontinued support for non-security related issues such as hardware and software compatibility with printers, Wi-Fi, and other devices. What this means is you will increasingly experience limited functionality not just from Microsoft, but also from other vendors.

In Conclusion

Upgrade Microsoft Exchange  Server 2003Don’t put this off. The deadline is just around the corner. Aside from the risks, there are many benefits to upgrading. Ontech Systems can provide you with cost-effective solutions to avoid these unnecessary risks, improve employee productivity and propel your business forward.

We are currently featuring a new line of Business Desktops and servers from HP along with Lenovo’s latest line of ThinkPad laptops to replace current Windows XP desktops and laptops.

Call our office today at (262) 522-8560 or reach us by email for more information.

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