The Dangers of Running an OS Beyond End of Life

By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 09-02-2015 Email

Microsoft recently cut ties with Windows Server 2003, ending security and compliance updates for the widely used enterprise operating system. Despite the risks, 61 percent of businesses continue to use Server 2003 according to a recent SpiceWorks report. Migrating an enterprise to a new operating system presents many challenges, but they pale in comparison to the cost and resources to maintain and protect an outdated platform. "Running OSes past their end of life increases exposure to cyber-attacks that exploit vulnerabilities, data breaches and loss of critical data, and violations of industry security regulations," said Vivian Tero, senior product marketing manager, Data Center Security at Symantec. She recommends three approaches: Partner with a vendor that can assist with a seamless transition to a new OS, use host-based server hardening to lock down the OS, application, and admin rights while monitoring all activities in the platform, and ensure that data to be migrated or protected is properly backed up. Symantec offers eight Windows Server 2003 end-of-support tips for migrating smoothly and securely.

Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.


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