On January 14, Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. This means that these two operating systems will no longer receive updates, since Microsoft has stopped developing new patches for vulnerabilities that appear on these systems. As a result, computers running this version will be vulnerable to malware and other malicious programs.
In fact, Microsoft already ended support for Windows 7 back in 2015, when it stopped developing new features for the system. However, until January of this year, the operating system was still in an extended support phase, meaning it still received patches and updates to resolve security problems.
Windows 7: a widely-used system
Windows 7 is still a highly popular operating system According to NetMarketShare, at the end of 2019, it still had a market share of 32.7% This means that a significant proportion of computers worldwide stopped being protected in January.
To ensure that their computers are protected against any vulnerability that may appear in the future, Microsoft recommends that Windows 7 users update their systems to Windows 10, the latest version of the operating system.
Although Microsoft has stopped providing support for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2, computers with these operating systems can still be used. In order to facilitate the transition to systems with support, Microsoft is offering the option to pay to receive security updates until January 2023. This option, however, may not suit everyone: users will have to pay per device, and the price will increase every year to encourage companies to update their systems.
Nevertheless, those who choose to keep using these obsolete operating systems face the possibility of endangering their computers, and as such, of compromising your organization’s security. One of the logical consequences is that, since Microsoft is no longer developing updates for these systems, we’re very likely to see an increase in the number of vulnerabilities in the the computers that use these operating systems. Because of this, users are very likely to start to experience a notable increase in the number of cyberattacks they suffer; cyberattackers will take advantage of the fact that new vulnerabilities in Windows 7 won’t be patched to launch targeted attacks against these systems.
How to protect yourself if you stick with Windows 7
Companies that choose to keep Windows 7 must have a security solution that guarantees the protection of the vulnerable computers in their organizations. The solution must neutralize possible attacks that may stem from the vulnerabilities in these operating systems. Panda Adaptive Defense and Panda Adaptive Defense 360 are the perfect cybersecurity solutions to provide this protection. Why?
- Panda Adaptive Defense provides contextual detections for anomalous behaviors that often turn out to be vulnerability exploitation. This kind of contextual detection can prevent, for example, the download of a Word document containing malicious macros, which could be used to launch a CMD.
- What’s more, Panda Adaptive Defense has an anti-exploit module. This module provides virtual patching, covering any vulnerability that may appear on the organization’s computers and servers.
- Protect your company’s endpoint’s with Panda Adaptive Defense’s 100% Classification Service for all processes. This service doesn’t allow anything that isn’t classified as trusted to run. This way, no unknown programs can endanger your corporate cybersecurity. In many cases, malicious programs take advantage of vulnerabilities to launch. Given how likely it is that new vulnerabilities will appear in Windows 7, this service is vital. Panda Adaptive Defense’s firewall protection has a DPI (Deep packet inspection) module. This module allows Panda Security to eliminate any packet that is detected through network traffic exploiting a vulnerability. The DPI module is used to protect against more critical vulnerabilities, such as EternalBlue, which was used in the WannaCry attacks, or BlueKeep. This way our customers can have the maximum protection.
The EoL of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 will affect many organizations around the world. If your organization is going to keep using these operating systems, ensure you’re properly protected with Panda Adaptive Defense.