On January 10, 2023 Windows 7 and 8.1 stopped receiving updates and support from Microsoft, as expected. Both of these operating systems are older and will no longer receive support or updates. While it is certainly possible that a security update or two may be applied in the future, it is unlikely. This is a common practice with all computer operating systems and can have real world impact on small businesses.  When an operating system no longer receives updates, the device has an increased risk for exploitation by cyber criminals, as no security vulnerabilities will be fixed.

Still using Windows 7 or 8.1

If you are still using either operating system, it is strongly recommended to look to upgrade to newer Windows operating systems, like Windows 11 as it is the latest release from Microsoft. You may also consider moving to Mac products as you look to upgrade. Both Windows and Macs have pros and cons, so it is important to make sure whichever route you go, that they meet all of your current and future needs.

Microsoft Edge

Along with these operating systems being discontinued, Microsoft Edge, which is Microsoft’s web browser, no longer receives updates for its Windows 7 and 8.1 versions as of January 10, 2023 either.

Google Chrome

As if the discontinuation of Windows 7 and 8.1 and also Microsoft Edge for those operating systems wasn’t enough, Google Chrome support ended as well on January 10, 2023.

Updates, updates, updates

One of the often overlooked cybersecurity musts are updates. More than 90% of updates address cybersecurity vulnerabilities in software. It is also important to make sure you update your hardware regularly too. This can mean applying firmware updates to your devices or purchasing new devices to replace older ones. Hardware updates include your modems, routers, printers, IoT devices like security cameras or thermostats, as examples.

For more information on cybersecurity, check out our other Security Bytes!