Avecto, a Bomgar company, has issued the findings from a global survey on how prepared IT and cybersecurity professionals are for the Windows 7 end of life (officially January 2020, with extended paid support now available through January 2023). Avecto surveyed over 500 individuals from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United States (U.S.) and Europe. Some professionals have already migrated to Windows 10 and are using the migration as a catalyst to improve their security posture and roll out more secure endpoints for their users. However, many organizations are lagging behind and don’t understand the potential risks of the migration.
Key findings include:
- Uncertainty about Windows 7 end of life: 31 percent of the respondents globally believe that Windows 7 end of life already occurred. Only 30 percent of respondents knew the actual date, demonstrating a lack of knowledge globally. Microsoft extended support for Windows 7 to January 2023, but only for users that are willing to pay an escalating fee. Companies who don’t make the shift by January 2020 could find themselves paying a large sum of money in the years to come for support.
- Windows 10 readiness: More than half of the respondents believe their organization is ready for the Windows 10 migration. However, the other 44 percent are unsure about preparation plans or do not feel prepared. Organizations must take proactive steps now to prepare for Windows 7 end of life.
- Opportunity for security improvement: More than half of respondents across all regions believe the Windows 10 migration is a way to improve overall company cybersecurity. For Windows 10 users, it’s important to identify solution partners that can prevent threats being introduced by malicious content and vulnerable applications, leading to data being stolen or encrypted.
- Vulnerable endpoints and malware attacks remain top concerns: For respondents, the top security concern for securing remote workers and off-the-network employees was vulnerable endpoints (40 percent). For all regions except the UAE, the biggest challenge for securing remote workers and employees that leverage bring your own device (BYOD) on Windows 10 was ensuring that endpoints were secure. UAE respondents were most concerned with malware attacks.
Across all regions, the survey data revealed that cybersecurity is top of mind for organizations getting ready to make the transfer to Windows 10. Avecto has worked to enhance usability, security, and productivity in Windows 10 environments. Avecto’s solution, Defendpoint, uses simple policy rules to grant users access privileges when they need them so that they can seamlessly perform their tasks – without the risk of a full admin account.
“The migration to Windows 10 has the potential to benefit organizations tremendously, but only if they take the right steps to prepare their security strategy,” said Andrew Avanessian, chief operations officer at Avecto, a Bomgar company. “The survey results demonstrate how there is still much work to be done as organizations prepare for Windows 7 end of life. Defendpoint is a true compliment to Windows 10. Together, these technologies are helping organizations benefit from the most productive and secure version of Windows to date.”