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Yesterday, July 14th, 2015 marked an important day not only for Microsoft but for many companies worldwide. It signaled the end of support and patching for Windows Server 2003. Many businesses were prepared for this day and had already upgraded to a newer and supported version of software. However, there are still thousands who did not make that switch opening their company to risk. Those include:

No more patches or updates

There were over 30 high risk patches in 2013 alone.  Just one of the patches released this July fixed 28 flaws in Internet Explorer.  Without these, the system is unprotected. Moving forward any patches released for Windows 2008 or 2012 will only highlight probably weak spots in Windows Server 2003, however no updates will be provided to protect those systems.

Not being compliant

Does your business accept credit cards?  If you are still running Windows Server 2003, your business will be not be PCI compliant. If you are in healthcare, HIPAA standards will also not be able to be met.

- Providing an open door for hackers

Hackers will be able to use Windows Server 2003 as a window into the rest of the system. It’s like leaving your back door unlocked – someone or something unwanted is bound to find its’ way in sooner or later.

- No more technical support from Microsoft

Windows Server 2003 users will no longer be able to call Microsoft and have their questions answered. Microsoft is not going to support those users.

- No more vendor support

Many application vendors have already stopped supporting their software on Windows 2003.  They cannot effectively support their application on an end-of-life operating system.

What should I do now if I’m still running 2003?

- Business Owners and IT Executives

If you haven’t already, ask your IT support team for a Windows Server 2003 audit status.  Are there any systems left on the network?  What is the migration plan and timeline?  How does this affect our compliance requirements?

- IT Professionals

It’s time to go back to management and re-emphasize the importance of this risk.  Put it in writing, lay out the significance and ramifications.  It’s your responsibility to communicate the importance of this technology, and how it impacts the business.

In the long term, is it really worth the risk? If you are still running with Windows Server 2003, contact us and we will partner with you to discover the best migration solution.

 Brian Abraham 
Senior Consultant 

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Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.