Suppose you come to work on January 11, 2023, and you start up your computer. It’s running an older version of Windows—version 8.1— so it takes some time to boot up. When you get logged into your business network, you receive a notification that your version of Windows has reached its EoS date. It doesn’t sound like a big issue, so you close the notification window and continue with your workday.
The following week you notice your operating system running much slower, you hear random sounds, and unexpected windows keep popping up. Concerned that you might have a virus, you contact the information technology department for assistance. They inform you that the notification window you ignored the previous week meant that this version of Windows was no longer receiving necessary security updates, leaving your computer vulnerable to cyber threats.
This scenario and many more are reasons why outsourced IT services for small businesses are crucial to your business’s security and long-term success. When your software or operating system runs past its EoS date, you will no longer get security updates, leaving a major gap in your cybersecurity plan. But when your company partners with outside tech support, like InnoTek Computer Consulting, we can ensure that there are no gaps in your cybersecurity plan and keep you updated on the latest IT news before it causes a disaster.
What Are EoS and EoL?
Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) issue specific dates for products to indicate when that product reaches a milestone in its lifecycle. Two important dates for small business owners to be concerned about are EoS and EoL.
End of Support (EoS) is the date when the manufacturer will no longer provide technical support, software updates, or security patches for equipment. For example, Microsoft announced that as of January 10, 2023, it would no longer provide security updates or technical support for Windows 8.1. That means if your business is running Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 (with an EoS date of January 14, 2020), you are putting your business at risk for cyberattacks.
End of Life (EoL) is the date when the OEM decides to stop making, marketing, or selling a specific piece of equipment. It also means they will only offer limited technical updates, such as firmware development, software patches, and upgrades. Post-warranty maintenance will cost more and only be available for a few years.
What Issues Will I Face if My Software Reaches EOS or EOL?
When your organization’s software reaches EoS or EoL, you need to take action. While you can still use that software, you will no longer receive critical security patches and updates. This lack of support leaves your business vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks, particularly viruses and malware. You’re essentially leaving the door open for cybercriminals to enter your business network and wreak havoc.
Do I Need to Replace My Equipment If It Reaches EoS?
In the case of EoS for Windows 8.1, Microsoft recommends moving to a new PC with Windows 11 or newer. While you may be able to upgrade a Windows 8.1 device, you will face a much slower operating system.
Switching to the newest version of Windows can be a major undertaking for small businesses in Northeastern PA. If your company relies heavily on computers and the internet to stay operational, you need to consider hiring outside IT services for small businesses from InnoTek.
We can help you switch to the newest version of Windows, provide a robust cybersecurity plan to protect your business, and help with other IT solution services. Get in touch with us today to learn more.
How Can an Outside IT Company Help with These Issues?
Beyond helping you switch to a supported version of your operating system, a company specializing in managed IT services like ours will help you stay on top of important dates for your software, such as EoS and EoL. As experts in business IT solutions for small businesses, we remain on top of the latest tech news and software developments to ensure that small to medium-sized businesses like yours always have the latest software and support on their computers.
What Other Ways Can an Outside Business IT Service Provider Help?
Besides helping your business stay current with software and cybersecurity updates, a wide range of other service offerings are available. Our IT services for small businesses include:
- Remote Work Capabilities—The face of the workplace is changing, and with it comes a new era of increased cybercrimes. With more businesses hiring remote employees or offering work-from-home flexibility to benefit their employees, using cloud computing safely is essential. InnoTek can help you get set up or improve your remote work capabilities, improving your cybersecurity and increasing employee productivity.
- Business Continuity—Think back to the scenario described at the beginning of this article. If this were you and a virus infiltrated your network, you could be at risk of a cyber breach. You risk losing company and client data, credit card numbers, employees’ social security numbers, and much more. An outside agency providing IT solution services would help you develop a step-by-step disaster recovery plan to secure that data and ensure your business can resume normal operations quickly.
- Security Awareness Training—Your approach to managing cyber threats must start internally. Your employees are your number one cybersecurity liability. Between using weak passwords, sharing too much information on social media, and falling victim to phishing scams, there’s a plethora of ways your employees can welcome a new hacker into your network. Our comprehensive security awareness training reduces your company’s risk of human-related data breaches and keeps cybersecurity at the forefront of every mind.
Get IT Services for Small Businesses Now
Outsourcing IT support is wise for small business owners in Northeastern PA, even if you already have an internal IT department. Outsourced IT support can help you ensure that your software always has the latest security updates, prevent your software from reaching EoL or EoS, and help your employees work remotely. They can also help you create a business continuity plan and train employees to fight cybercrime. But that’s not all!
Our IT services for small businesses include virtualization, email security, VoIP, and other services that help your business stay protected, productive, and profitable. Get in touch with us today to learn more!