Make These Technology Upgrades Before Cybercriminals Exploit Known Vulnerabilities

Gartner found that worldwide spending on information technology is predicted to reach approximately $4 trillion this year. That’s a lot of money businesses are putting towards keeping their technology up-to-date and operational. But how do you know what you should be putting your money towards? A strategic approach is necessary to ensure you’re purchasing the right hardware, software, and services. After all, digital transformation is a huge task that involves aligning your purchases with your organizational goals to create new business opportunities.

Naturally, you have a budget to maintain so you might be prioritizing urgent purchases before the end of the year. After all, Section 179 of the IRS code was enacted to help small businesses take depreciation deductions for certain assets in the year. For 2019, the deduction is $1,000,000 – meaning you’re able to deduct the full cost up to this amount from your taxes. So what urgent purchases do you need to consider?

Upgrading from Windows7

First and foremost, upgrading from Windows7 to another up-to-date operating system is essential. Why? Microsoft is ending support for Windows7 on January 14th, 2020. This means there will no longer be security patches and bug fixes released for the operating system. You can elect to pay for up to 3 years of patches or switch to virtual machines wherein you’ll receive patching, but ultimately, it’s likely more cost-efficient to upgrade. This is especially true when you consider the fact that cybercriminals will be focusing their efforts on this outdated, unsupported operating system.

Will you be facing any serious risks if you choose not to upgrade?

As mentioned above, there will no longer be security patches or bug fixes released, which means cybercriminals will be able to find vulnerabilities and exploit them over and over again. In addition, for those who operate within an industry with strict compliance regulations, you will no longer be in compliance as running an outdated operating system goes against most mandates.

How can you get started on the path towards migrating to another operating system?

Your first step should be calling an IT company that knows what they’re doing when it comes to migrations. It’s a good idea to start calling around immediately as many IT companies will receive tons of last minute calls. If you upgrade before 12/31/2019, you’re able to take advantage of the tax deduction, so why wait?

Upgrading from Exchange 2010

The next important purchase to make is upgrading from Exchange 2010 as it’ll reach its end-of-life date on October 13th, 2020. This means there will be no more security patches or bug fixes, and similar to Windows7, cybercriminals will start targeting organizations running Exchange 2010 knowing they’re not secure.

Will you be facing any serious risks if you choose not to upgrade?

Similar to Windows7, absolutely… You will be facing the risk of cybercriminals learning each and every vulnerability and exploiting them all with nothing to protect you. In addition, your environment may start to run slower and perform less efficiently due to the lack of updates to the system.

What’s the best choice for migration?

Naturally, you’ll want to speak with an experienced team of technology professionals to find out the best choice for your unique needs. You can switch your on-premises servers with the latest version (Exchange 2016) or choose a more cost efficient, cloud-based option like Office 365. In the latter option, you would move your mailboxes over, then remove any on-premises servers from your office.

Ready to start making some critical upgrades before the December 31st, 2019 deadline for Section 179? Let’s talk. Contact us.

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