FBI Warns of Windows 7 Risks
The FBI has announced there is a greater risk of getting hacked by using Windows 7 than ever before. The operating system reached its official end-of-life (EOL) earlier this year.
All software eventually becomes out of date, after which point, ideally, it should not be used. This is the advice from the National Cyber Security Centre in the United Kingdom. To protect your networks and staff from legacy software and unsupported operating systems, these are the lessons we need to learn.
Robert Brown, Director of Services for Syxsense said, “Operating systems and software which are legacy or obsolete no longer receive security updates. Should a vulnerability become weaponized, you will have no choice but to uninstall that software or upgrade to the latest version. This sounds simple, but the process for doing so over a highly distributed environment takes time. However, time is what you do not have when a vulnerability is weaponized and spreading ransomware.”
FBI Urges Companies to Update Devices
The Bureau is asking companies to look into upgrading workstations to newer versions of the Windows operating system. To this day, Microsoft still allows Windows 7 systems to be upgraded to Windows 10 at no cost, even if this offer officially ended in July 2016.
Support for Windows 7 ended on January 14, 2020. There is an option to extend support for up to 3 years, but that extension includes an additional subscription to Microsoft and to relicense each of your Windows 7 devices with a new license key.
Patch Management Solution for Windows 7
In light of today’s news by the FBI, anyone still using Windows 7 who purchased the extension subscription (Extended Security Updates) can continue to patch those devices using Syxsense Manage. If you have not purchased that extension, you will find reports in our console which identify all those systems for upgrade to Windows 10. Since January there have been many of updates released to resolve vulnerabilities with Windows 7 in addition to .NET Framework vulnerabilities using the extension agreement.
If you don’t know what software is legacy, obsolete, or simply out of date, Syxsense Secure has a vulnerability scanner which can find out for you. It is loaded with hundreds of software where there is no option but to install or upgrade the latest version of the software.