Are your back-office IT systems up to date?

No matter what size your business is, you can’t avoid IT. It is the backbone of most businesses and a vital component in the manufacturing and engineering process.

Smaller businesses rely on IT for bookkeeping and payroll, whilst in larger businesses, it could be running some or your entire production process.

Whatever your level of IT reliance, it is vital that you keep your systems up to date. Cybercrime is a major threat to industry. Forbes recently estimated that over the next five years, global public companies risk losing an estimated £4.1 trillion ($5.2 trillion) to cybersecurity attacks.

Network systems such as PCI DSS are part of certified systems with requirements that software is supported and patched regularly. Using unsupported systems could put you in breach of the 2018 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulations. In the event of a security breach, you are subject to large fines from the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) and public notification that your business is unable to maintain its systems and customer information.

Microsoft end of support in January 2020

In January 2020, Microsoft will be retiring all support for several widely used applications and operating systems. Technically, mainstream support ended some time ago, but Microsoft has continued to provide extended support, which includes security updates. This will eventually end and continued use after January 2020 could put your business at risk.

These Applications include:

  • Windows 7: Although superseded by Windows 8 and 10, it remains a very popular desktop operating system.
  • Windows Server 2008 R2: Like Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 is a very popular operating system.
  • Exchange 2010 – Exchange 2010 provides the email, calendar and, for some businesses, public and private folders for data storage.
  • Small Business Server 2008: Small Business Server 2008 is not a single product, but an integrated suite of back-office applications.

Changing an operating system may require an upgrade to the hardware and any applications that run on it. This could impact other systems and services, so careful migration planning will be required.

This article featured in issue 5 of our Manufacturing and Engineering newsletter series.

Read The Engine Issue 5

If you would like to discuss how we can help your Manufacturing or Engineering business, please get in touch with us on 01903 234094.