Support for Microsoft's 10-year-old operating system, Windows 7, will officially end in six months, yet research shows 18% of larger enterprises still have not migrated to Windows 10.
At the beginning of the year, researchers found that 43% of organizations were still running Windows 7, 17% of which had no clue when the official end of life date was for the operating system. The analysis was made up of 200 US and UK IT decision-makers.
Six months later researchers found that 96% of IT departments have started their migrates to Windows 10, and 77% have completed their migration. It reportedly took some firms more than three years to complete the entire migration process, so those that have yet to start are at high risk of missing the deadline of January 10, 2020.
There are a few different options for companies still running Windows 7. One option is to purchase the extended support package at an annual cost of $500,000 for a company with 10,000-plus endpoints.
The second option is to bite the bullet and upgrade. The Center for Internet Security recently released the CIS Controls Microsoft Windows 10 Cyber Hygiene Guide last week to help organizations prepare for the migration process.
Migrating will require lots of preparation and organizations will need to ensure their networks are ready for more testing, increased rollouts and more network congestion to stay up to date with Windows 10.
Change is understandably unnerving to most, but given the latest WannaCry ransomware attack that infected more than 230,00 users in 150 different countries, it's important organizations fully understand the risks associated with using out of date systems and software.
Gartner estimates that over 99% of all published breaches in 2016 were exploited by known security vulnerabilities. Once Windows 7 is no longer supported, there is no telling what damage hackers can do to these enterprise environments or what kind of huge scale attacks like WannaCry could result from these outdated systems.
Read our latest Whitepaper: The Problem with Running Outdated Sofware to learn more