The 3 Biggest Risks of Running Unsupported Software

By Frank D'Silva | September 1, 2017
Frank leads the Solutions Architects team at Ntiva, Inc. With a background in network security, Frank graduated from George Mason in 2007 with a B.S. degree in Information Technology.

As you’ve likely heard by now, Microsoft has announced “end of life” for Office 2007 in October 2017.  Are you at risk if you continue to use it? The short answer is yes, and here’s why.

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All software has a lifecycle. It gets developed, released, updated and eventually abandoned completely for a newer version.

There is nothing to stop you from using software that has been dropped. You may or may not care if you have access to new features, but you should keep in mind the 4 biggest risks:

  • Missing out on new productivity features that your competition is already taking advantage of
  • Incompability with partners and customers that have already adopted the newer software
  • Incompatibility in your own shop - as an example, Outlook 2007 email clients will no longer be able to connect to Office 365 mailboxes
  • And last but not least - with no further updates or bug fixes in the pipeline, you are at risk from a security perspective.

Here’s the warning directly from Microsoft Support:

When Office 2007 reaches its End of Life on October 10, 2017, Microsoft will no longer provide:

  • Technical support for issues
  • Bug fixes for issues that are discovered
  • Security fixes for vulnerabilities that are discovered

Security weaknesses and bugs in older software can be exploited by hackers in a wide range of ways. Remember WannaCry and Petya, the recent ransomware attacks? Attacks such as these are typically targeted to older software and operating systems.

While it may seem like this advice is just another way to spend more money with Microsoft, the bottom line is: if your version of Office is longer supported, you are putting your business at risk!

Be sure and contact us if you want to discuss this or any other IT challenges you may be having.

Frank D'Silva, Solutions Architect

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Tags: Cybersecurity, Managed IT, Microsoft