The Windows Server 2003 operating system is what many small businesses have running on their network servers. This software will no longer be supported starting July 14th, 2015. After that date, Microsoft will no longer release critical security patches and the operating system will no longer be compliant for many regulatory agencies. Most importantly, this could leave your servers vulnerable to viruses and hackers.
Why are talking about this now?
A recent study showed that 60% of businesses that use Server 2003 are unaware that it will no longer be supported. We don't want this to be you. Also, July might be months away but that time will go quick. Server upgrades take planning and capital expenditures that you may want to take advantage of this year. Or you may want to schedule the migration during a slow time of year.
Will this affect me?
The easiest way to determine this is to ask your IT provider. If they are proactive, they have probably already let you know. Another option is to log on to your server if you are comfortable with that. Here is nice write up on how to check your operating system yourself. The other option is to contact Mode5 for a network health assessment. We will analyze your network and provide you with a full detailed report of your network and provide upgrade options. Please click here if you would like to schedule our no-cost Network Health Assessment.
Why should I care?
The reason why “support” from Microsoft is so important is that unsupported operating systems do not get critical security patches. Without security patches your network could be exposed to hackers, data loss, data theft and more. An example of this was the Internet Explorer exploit that came out earlier this year. Windows XP users no longer were supported by Microsoft and faced a big security problem. You can read about it here. In addition, many industries require certain standards of care on a computer network. If you are in one of those industries, your network may no longer be compliant.
What can I do if my servers run Server 2003?
Many businesses are simply upgrading their servers. Chances are if your server is running Windows Server 2003 software, the hardware is probably due for an upgrade anyway. Others are taking the opportunity to evaluate cloud services. Mode5 Cloud is a fantastic option for those that want to have a hosted network as opposed to reinvesting in an on-premises network. Either way, it is important to talk with your IT Provider or to get a third party assessment to develop a technology plan that is right for your business. It is not too early to make your technology plans to ensure you are up to date.