Today – 14-1-20 – marks the end-of-life for two widely-used Microsoft products. Support for both Server 2008 / 2008 R2 and Windows 7 stops today, which of course means no more technical assistance and more importantly no more security updates. Regular security updates of supported products are designed to fix the kind of IT ‘vulnerabilities’ hackers use to attack networks. Today’s deadline means that if any vulnerabilities come to light with either product from now on, they will NOT be fixed.

If you continue to use Windows 7 after today your PC will still work but it will be vulnerable to security risks and viruses. If you continue to use server 2008 / Server 2008 R2, again your server will still work, but your entire network will be at risk of cyber attacks.

The risk is especially real for firms that manage their own inhouse IT infrastructure, unless they have already upgraded. Of course firms using LAWFUSION Direct, Select Legal systems cloud solution for law firms have no need to worry about any such deadlines, as the LAWFUSION servers, at Select’s ISO 27001 data centre, are always kept up-to-date and on supported versions.

Products of this nature have life cycles and when a product reaches end-of-life there are serious security implications for any businesses that continue to use them. Although Microsoft end-of-life notices are well communicated and publicised some people continue to adopt a ‘head-in-the-sand’ mentality which means inevitably some firms will be relying on an unprotected IT infrastructure after today (14-1-20).

It is highly recommended, for any firm that hasn’t done so already, that they upgrade as soon as possible.   Without security updates law firm networks become easy targets for any new computer viruses and malware doing the rounds.

It’s not only Server 2008 / 2008 R2 and Windows 7 that are subject to today’s end-of-life deadline from Microsoft, all of the following products are flagged for end of life from today (14-1-20):

• Dynamics NAV 2009 R2
• Expression Blend 3
• Expression Design 3
• Expression Encoder 3
• Microsoft Expression Studio 3
• Expression Web 3
• Hyper-V Server 2008
• Hyper-V Server 2008 R2
• Windows 7
• Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5
• Windows Server 2008 R2
• Windows Server 2008
• Windows Server Update Services 3.0
• Windows Storage Server 2008 (all editions)

Using unsupported IT networks have other disadvantages. There will be regulatory compliance issues in terms of industry regulation for the profession, and firms could be wide open to ICO fines in terms of GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulation) – because an IT network that is no longer receiving regular security updates is no place to be holding the personal data of employees and/or clients.

Useful Microsoft links:

Windows Server 2008 – https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/cloud-platform/windows-server-2008
Windows 7 – Windows 10 upgrade FAQ
Microsoft Products – End of Support in 2020: https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/4470235/products-reaching-end-of-support-for-2020

For any advice, or further information about LAWFUSION, its inhouse or cloud versions, or its Microsoft integrations please contact Select Legal Systems Limited today on 01482 567601. The LAWFUSION book-a-demonstration form is also available here.