Windows Server 2003 End-of-Support day will come in no time. Many organizations are still either unaware of the coming end of support, or are struggling with legacy applications that still require the old architecture. Business that do not upgrade to either the next version up (Windows Server 2008) or Windows Server 2012 will not be in compliance depending on your industry regulations.
Risks on the Horizon
An estimated 39% of all installed Microsoft Server operating systems are the 2003 edition. Underscoring the type of support the software needs, there were 37 critical updates released for Windows 2003 in 2013. Operating outdated server software systems is risky and expensive. Threats to data centers running the outdated software will likely increase, and businesses will have to deal with added costs for intrusion detection systems, more advanced firewalls and network segmentation.
Businesses that deal with sensitive or critical information, such as healthcare records or credit card payment data, could fail to be regulatory compliant, resulting in lost business or a dramatic increase in the cost of doing business in the form of high transaction fees and penalties. Without addressing the issue, organizations will likely fail to meet industry compliance standards, i.e., Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Microsoft will no longer provide automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance past the deadline. Businesses running the operating system have the option to upgrade to a currently supported operating system, replace servers or transition their IT operations to a cloud-based service.
The Solution: A Phased Approach
To ensure a smooth transition, we recommend businesses start immediately, as it could take longer than one year to migrate all systems. Give us a call today to begin discussing your options.