15 months after the official end of support for Microsoft 7, IKARUS is ending support for the outdated operating system: From 1 May 2021, IKARUS products will no longer receive optimised programme updates and will no longer be tested compatibility with the outdated operating system. The support guarantee for requests in connection with Windows 7 will also be discontinued. Updates of the virus database will continue to be delivered.
Increased attacks on Windows 7
Since January 2020, Microsoft no longer delivers standardised updates for Windows 7, and potential security vulnerabilities remain unpatched. The end of manufacturer support is the starting signal for attackers to search for unsecured vulnerabilities specifically or to implement already prepared attack scenarios: The risk of damage increases enormously, be it through ransomware campaigns that demand a ransom for the release of one’s data, banking Trojans that target bank data, backdoors that are now set up to secure permanent access to a device, or other threats. These dangers already exist when merely surfing the Internet.
IKARUS guarantees a transition phase until 30 April 2021. Windows 7 will be supported beyond the official end of the programme: Until then, all Windows-based IKARUS solutions are fully operational on Windows 7. However, additional security software cannot cushion all the vulnerabilities of an outdated operating system, which is why we recommend switching immediately.
Update your operating system now or switch
According to current statistics, almost 17 per cent of all Windows desktops were still running Windows 7 in January 2021. Limited to the Austrian market, the figure is reduced to a good 7 per cent.
Anyone who owns an affected device should decide whether an update to the current Windows 10 is possible – Microsoft defines the system requirements for the optimal use of Windows 10 here. It continues to offer instructions for the free upgrade to Windows 10 despite the expired one-year deadline. A support extension of Windows 7 is only possible against a corresponding additional contract with Microsoft for Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate. However, it does not include support by IKARUS or other software manufacturers. Low-performance devices that are not suitable for upgrading can be given a safe second life with an alternative operating system such as Linux Mint or Zorin OS.
Always create backups before making system changes
Before every upgrade or changeover, we recommend creating a backup of your data – and using the new setup as an opportunity to establish a regular backup routine. IKARUS expert Andreas Kramel works with two security levels on his home computer: an encrypted backup in the Owncloud and an image backup on a separate USB disk. Read the expert tips here.