Until now, there has been little reason to change server solutions. SQL 2008 has been a workhorse for the finance industry; why change something that works?
Unfortunately, end-of-life software has a history of damaging businesses and services. Do you remember when support for Windows XP was pulled? Despite that, a huge number of systems still run it – as many as 1.81% of all Windows PCs.
Until 2018, this statistic included as many as 90% of NHS systems, leading to a high-profile ransomware attack in 2017 that crippled our health service and cost taxpayers a total of £92m.
When you consider that the systems running MS Server 2008 are mission-critical business and financial systems, you can see how badly failure to update can cost an organisation.
Unless organisations take action, the same threat is set to happen when Microsoft halts security updates for SQL 2008 and 2008 R2. July 9th, 2019 is a deadline that organisations can’t afford to miss.
Right now, patches are frequently released by Microsoft to prevent Server 2008 system vulnerabilities. Once support ends, these patches will stop and your server infrastructure will be severely weakened, leaving anyone free to target your business.
When support is pulled, fraudsters will be looking to target companies who are still using SQL 2008.
End-of-life Security risks
Any end-of-life software can present a serious security risk. This risk is further exaggerated when you consider the mission-critical importance of server software.
Weakened infrastructure puts your organisation at a heavily increased risk of cyber attack and data breaches. Hackers will be free to steal customer records, confidential information, and even financial data.
In turn, this causes severe damage to company reputations. Nowadays, data breaches are national news; once people catch wind of a breach, news quickly spreads.
Finally, affected companies may lose the trust of their customer base, leading to mass abandonment and unrenewed contracts. Businesses may even lose investors and shareholders.
Other end-of-life problems
There are also legal compliance issues. If you continue to run these outdated systems, you will do so at your own risk. This will put you in breach of GDPR regulations and subject to enormous fines.
Aside from security threats, end-of-life software is also plagued with software incompatibility, as developers abandon the platform. In addition, the costs of maintaining outdated software rise exponentially over time – not to mention the fact that your mission-critical software could go down at any moment.
When do I need to act?
The time to act is now. You can’t afford to be passive on this issue. It’s tempting to ignore it and hope it will go away; if you do, it’s not a case of if your business will be targeted – it’s when.
Indeed, even the ACCA and ICAEW professional bodies state the importance of keeping your software patched and up to date, so there are no good excuses for putting it off.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, this is a great time to upgrade your software packages and drive new innovation.
What can be done?
Unless you’re experts in software, you may need to approach an expert third party to seek proactive solutions.
For example, PS Cloud offers a modern alternative to your outdated systems. After migrating, your financial data will exist securely on the cloud, with double layer authentication and daily backups, and you benefit from PS Financials’ powerful financial software.
More and more businesses are migrating their mission-critical software functions to the cloud. Visit the PS Cloud site to learn more and to get ahead of the digital cloud revolution.