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Windows Server 2012 End Of Life: What You Need to Know

By: Kristina Mack

9.8.2023 Blog Post Image

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Vulnerabilities continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, and part of combatting that is keeping your software and devices up to date with the latest patches. As software ages, eventually, it reaches a point where it is no longer supported, and critical updates like performance optimizations and patches for security are no longer released. Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 are at this point, ending on October 10th, 2023. In this article, we’ll explore the implications of Windows Server 2012 reaching its end of support and discuss the importance of migrating to newer alternatives.

Understanding the End of Support

On October 10th, 2023, Microsoft will officially end support for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. The operating systems will no longer receive security updates, bug fixes, or technical assistance from Microsoft. Even though the software will continue to function, your business and stakeholders should be planning for a migration. Using an unsupported operating system poses significant risks to the organization and can cripple your business if exposed.

Security Vulnerabilities

Are you the type of technology user that keeps all your various software and applications up to date? Or do you have a red bubble on your app store indicating you have 36 apps in need of an update? The most pressing concern when using an unsupported operating system is the increased risk of security vulnerabilities. Security updates are regularly released for various types of technology stacks to address vulnerabilities.

Without regular security updates, organizations are more susceptible to cyber-attacks, malware infections, and data breaches. Hackers often narrow in on unsupported systems since they know they will not receive the necessary patches to fix exposed vulnerabilities. It’s estimated that unpatched vulnerabilities are responsible for 60% of all data breaches. A highly publicized example was the WannaCry attack that targeted vulnerabilities in older Windows systems.

Compliance, Regulatory, and Insurance Requirements

Many industries have strict compliance and regulatory requirements that businesses must adhere to. Using an unsupported operating system can jeopardize compliance efforts and make it difficult to meet industry standards. Organizations should evaluate their specific compliance needs and consider upgrading to a supported operating system to maintain regulatory compliance.

Additionally, many cyber insurance policies include exclusions for coverage for security incidents arising due to unsupported or unpatched software. If your organization faces a cybersecurity incident due to exploitation of a vulnerability in Windows Server 2012, your claim may be denied.

Curious to learn more on the topic of cyber insurance? Tangent over to one of our latest webinars and learn more about insuring your protection.

Lack of Technical Support

The end of support also means the end of technical assistance from Microsoft. If businesses encounter any issues or need help troubleshooting problems, they will no longer have access to official Microsoft support channels. This lack of technical support can lead to increased downtime and potential disruptions to business operations.

What to Do Next

If your organization is running Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2012 R2, now is the time to start making a plan to ensure your organization remains secure.

Ideal scenarios include:

Migrating to Azure

In addition to the overall benefits of migrating to the cloud, Microsoft is offering three years of free extended security updates when migrating your Windows Server 2012 workloads to Azure.

Upgrading Your Server

If your organization is not ready to move to the cloud, upgrading your server to Windows Server 2019 is another way to ensure you receive the latest release for security, performance, and innovation.

The end of support for Windows Server 2012 poses significant risks for businesses. Upgrading to newer, support infrastructure is crucial to maintain security, comply with industry regulations, and benefit from improved performance and reliability. By working with an MSP, organizations can receive support in planning and migrating to a newer system and reduce risk for their organization.

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