Server 2003 End of Service is TODAY.
We’ve been saying it for months. (Shouting it, in fact!) But for those of you who missed the message, please listen up now:
Today, July 14th, 2015, Windows will end all support for Server 2003.
If you’re still running Server 2003 and you haven’t done anything about it, it’s beyond time to get moving. You need to run —not walk— to your IT team, and beat them with as many shoes as it takes to get them migrating your server to something more advanced than the server platforms that came out the same year as the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
If you are the head of your IT team, I just… I just have no words for you. Except maybe these:
A Shortish List Of Reasons Why Sticking with Server 2003 Is A Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Bad Idea
- Compatibility issues
After July 14th, application developers will not have to make their programs work for Server 2003. And even if they could, those apps would run pretty poorly on that dusty old 32-bit system. Refusing to migrate to a supported server will greatly hamper your organization’s ability to use new technology, make you more vulnerable to security threats and pose a significant competitive disadvantage for your company.
- Drafty windows (pun intended) and open doors
New malware and hacking techniques are constantly being developed and evolved by cybercriminals. These techniques and malicious programs pry at code and system vulnerabilities to find that obscure open window or door in your network and exploit it. To protect against new threats, Microsoft regularly releases patches and fixes. After today, however, Microsoft will not provide any updates for Server 2003. Hence, you open yourself up to exponentially increasing risk of attacks and malicious software in the days to come by not switching to supported server software.
- Vulnerability to refurbished malware
The opportunistic cybercriminals in the bit-sphere continuously evolve old, known malware to exploit new system vulnerabilities and up the chances of system penetration. Trending conversation online shows that many seasoned tech veterans and technology experts are predicting most malicious hackers and cybercriminals to already have updated malware stocks to infiltrate Server 2003 and are holding attacks until after the July 14 date to ensure the malware attacks are neither picked up or patch-resolved by Microsoft. Many expect a spike in malware attacks over the next 15-30 days, and some predict a high activity plateau over the next 6-12 months of relatively constant malware attacks for those still on the unsupported 2003 server.
- Opening a weak spot to your whole system
Windows Server 2003 post-EOS will likely be the Achilles’ heel of your data security. Even if the rest of your network or system is secure, threats may still infiltrate your unsupported server. Then, viruses, worms and malware can gleefully replicate throughout the network causing a system-wide infection or use the doorway to exploit other areas of your network presenting a security risk to otherwise previously well-secured areas.
- Compliance issues
And if all of the above isn’t compelling enough, for a pretty significant crowd of you reading this, your compliant data — from employee social security numbers to private, personally identifiable HIPAA information, to patient data, to client-protected information — will potentially no longer meet regulations. Whether medical, insurance, financial, or any of the numerous other industry verticals subject to regulatory oversight, laws, and compliance certification, you are likely to be one of the estimated 1 in 3 organizations with regulated sensitive data that is operationally-dependent. In other words, these folks not only are fined if not in compliance, but also risk operations shut-down until compliance is met. Unsupported software can very often be an easy stop-gate in regulatory non-compliance. Serious stuff.
Get Ready to Migrate to Windows Server 2012 R2
Need further convincing? Maybe Shia Labeouf can help you make up your mind:
Feeling properly motivated? Good. Because time is seriously running out.
Begin by looking at the End of Support guides that Microsoft has published and consider the many upgrade options available to you. If you’re sticking with a physical server, we recommend moving to Server 2012 R2. However, it’s a fine time to think about moving in-part or in-full to the cloud. Whatever your choice, think fast, because as of today, that ’03 server is dead in the water. It may be running now, but the risk you are opening to your organization, data and operations is probably more than any savings in delaying could be worth.
If you need a hand doing this necessary and time sensitive task, give us ring; we’d love to help. Dynamic Quest can make sure your move from Windows 2003 goes off without a hitch. With dedicated and seasoned engineers, and abundant migration resources, expertise, processes and technology, we’ll make sure you get safely and quickly onto a supported server that best meets your needs and budget.
Click below to connect with a Dynamic Quest engineer and talk through what a migration and/or upgrade might look like for you. As Shia would say, “Just!!!! Do it!!!”
Curious to learn more? Contact your local managed IT service provider?