Advisory 10

TLP Rating: White

Windows 7 support will end on January 14, 2020

CERT Vanuatu and the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) provides the following advisory.

CERT Vanuatu (CERT VU) office has received reports regarding the above mentioned threat and security alert due to the Windows 7 end-of-life support which will end on the 14th of January 2020. Lack of technical support and application of Microsoft security updates means that all Windows 7 computer systems are vulnerable to cyber-attacks or threats.

What is it?

This is a Microsoft Windows Advisory to all Windows Operating System (OS) users. All Windows 7 operating systems or machines will be susceptible to security threats after the 14th of January 2020. This means all windows 7 machines are at risk to any cyber security threat, windows 7 computers that are connected to the Government Broadband Network (GBN).

Windows 7 support lifecycle

Microsoft made a commitment to provide 10 years of product support for Windows 7 when it was released on October 22, 2009. When this 10-year period ends, Microsoft will discontinue all Windows 7 support. The specific end of support day for Windows 7 will be January 14, 2020.

After that, technical assistance and software updates (including security updates) from Windows Update that help protect your PC will no longer be available for the product. Microsoft strongly recommends that you move to Windows 10 sometime before January 2020 to avoid a situation where you need service or support that is no longer available.

 

What does end of support mean?

When Windows 7 reaches end of support on January 14, 2020, your computer will still function but Microsoft will no longer provide the following:

  • Technical support for any issues
  • Software updates; and
  • Security updates or fixes.

While you could continue to use your PC running Windows 7, without continued software and security updates, it will be at greater risk for viruses and malware. Going forward, the best way for you to stay secure is to install or upgrade any Windows 7 systems (computers) to Windows 10. However, for effective performance experiences with Windows 10, is to get a new PC. While it is possible to install Windows 10 on your older device, it is not recommended.

What should all current Windows 7 Systems and Users Do?

  1. Backup all Working files (.doc, image files, etc.) and personal files, preferable to an external Hard Drive.
  2. Backup Windows Settings and Files using the Microsoft backup and recovery utility.
  3. Get Tips on Windows 10.
  4. Upgrade old Computer systems to Windows 8.1 or Windows 10.
  5. Download and install all latest Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 updates and security updates.
  6. Backup or create newly installed Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 operating system.
  7. Load working and personal files back to your new Computer systems.

Important Security Alert and Recommendation

It is important that all government and other organization computers currently running windows 7 must upgrade their computers to either Windows 8.1 or Windows 10. This will help reduce the chances of Vanuatu being a target to any future cyber-attacks or threats.

References

1. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-7-end-of-life-support-information
2. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4057281/windows-7-support-will-end-on-january-14-2020