News 12 First at Five/ Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014
By: Laura Warren
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- It's a security risk for about 20 percent of businesses, and it could leave your information exposed. Soon, Microsoft will stop supporting one of its most popular operating system for servers.
John Rhodes helps people invest money for a living, and keeping client's information secure is a top priority. "As you might imagine, with investment portfolios, there's a lot of confidential and highly sensitive data we have to manage on an ongoing basis," said Rhodes.
Which is why his company, AP Wealth Management, decided to upgrade from Windows Server 2003 last year, so their system would not be vulnerable.
"We had gotten concerned that Windows 2003 was reaching the end of its life cycle and would no longer be supported," said Rhodes.
Their concerns were correct. But, unlike AP Wealth Management, a lot of businesses are still using a program from another decade to run their computers.
"Windows Server 2003 was the second most popular Microsoft product before Windows XP, so many people have run it for more than 10 years," said Peter Rittwadge, Sr. Technical Engineer for Intellisystems. "I would say probably at least 20% of servers out there are still running it."
But, on July 14, 2015, Microsoft will no longer support that server system, which could mean bad things when it comes to cyber security, and your information.
"When it is supported by the manufacturer, really what that means is that you're getting the updates, security patches, all the important things necessary to keep all the bad internet out," said Kevin Wade, President of local IT firm, Intellisystems.
But next year, if you're still using Windows Server 2003, all of those security updates and glitch fixes will stop, opening a lot of computers up to a lot of problems.
"People create these various bugs and Trojans and malware, and the likelihood they will find something and take advantage of some security hole in that product increases pretty dramatically," said Wade.
If you are not exactly sure what version of Windows you're running, you can check which operating system you're using by clicking here: Http://windows.Microsoft.Com/en-us/windows/which-operating-system