Microsoft to end support of Windows Server 2003

By Zoe Thomason | 24/03/15 | IT Solutions

Microsoft will be ending support of their operating system Windows Server 2003 from July 2015.

It’s rare to see a server running Windows Server 2003 nowadays. Most companies have replaced the ageing operating system with Server 2008 or more recently Server 2012, however there are still some out there.

Are you still running Windows Server 2003?

Maybe your 2003 server has never let you down and still functions as it always has with no problems, maybe you can`t upgrade to a newer operating system as your Line Of Business (LOB) applications will only run on Windows Server 2003. One or indeed both of these points may be the reason some businesses have stuck with their existing setup rather than upgrading. However, upgrading before support ends from Microsoft is a necessity.

The main reason for this is security, or rather the lack of it after July 2015!

Most people will probably not even notice security updates from Microsoft on their PCs and servers other than the message that pops up sometimes asking you to reboot your machine following the installation. These are usually installed automatically or managed by administrators and IT support providers but however unnoticeable, they play a huge part in the securing of Windows networks.

Hackers are constantly trying to find ways to exploit all operating systems. There are many reasons why they do this. They may be trying to steal information or money from a company, disrupt access or cause outages to websites. Some hackers will try to gain access to a system just for fun or for the fame and the status they will gain just for hacking a particular system. Whatever the reasons, hacking is always a major concern for any company.

The security updates I mentioned earlier are designed to stop this happening. If Microsoft discover a weakness in their operating system that hackers may exploit or have already exploited, they will design a patch or update to address the issue.

Failing to keep up with the latest technology could put your business at risk

Microsoft stopping support for Windows Server 2003 will mean that these security updates will stop. No more of these will be deployed to the operating system and therefore, the system will potentially be wide open to any hacking attempts. This is why it is extremely important to plan the upgrade of any server running Windows Server 2003 in your organisation as soon as possible.

If you have any LOB applications that will only run on Windows Server 2003 preventing you from upgrading, I would suggest contacting the software’s support. Most providers will have enabled there software to run on newer operating systems as they know businesses will be looking to move away from Server 2003. If your software can`t run on Server 2008 or 2012, it may be time to look for new software. This may be costly and inconvenient but can you really afford to leave your network open to hackers?

Windows Server 2003

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