In less than a year, support for Windows 7 will be ended, making operation systems patches and updates unavailable, according to a 2018 article. Since this will impact cybersecurity as well as compliance.  Many companies are migrating to a new operating system. A key consideration is protecting your business from data loss and compromise, and in some cases complying with stringent regulations, such as, PCI-DDS and HIPAA. What are the risks inherent in migration, and how can a business navigate the migration? Read on to learn more about handling the coming change and keeping your data safe.

Preparing for Windows 7 End of Service

With the upcoming Windows 7 end of service, operating systems patches will no longer work on your devices, possibly leaving your network and data open to cyberattack. Not only that, if compliance to regulatory standards like HIPAA is required, a company may incur fines if data is lost or exposed to cyberattack. However, with a detailed plan and preparation, the transition can be made to the new operating system. First, as already mentioned, conduct an audit of all devices still using Windows 7. Determine which mission-critical data and systems need to remain accessible during the migration. Streamlining data and applications—removing old data and obsolete applications—can help alleviate the burden of moving unneeded assets. Once the audit has been conducted and a plan developed with the help of your IT advisor, testing can begin.

Test Before Going Live

Before going live with the new operating system, testing the plan is vital, to ensure that no data is lost or corrupted during migration. Testing should help identify all potential issues before rollout, as well as identify any compromised data. Entities that need to comply with specific regulatory standards (e.g., HIPAA) can identify any holes in compliance and prevent loss of personal data. Multiple tests can help fine-tune a company’s preparation for the new software.

While new operating systems are a fact of life, testing and preparation can ease the transition. Contact your trusted technology advisor today to learn about how to successfully navigate this upcoming change.

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