On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will end support for any device running the Windows 7 Operating System. While you may be aware of which devices on your network are affected — such as personal computers — you may also want to check your security system, and more specifically, your NVR (network video recorder) appliance.
If your NVR appliance is running on Windows 7 (including Windows 7 Embedded), now is the time to start preparing for what next steps need to be taken to avoid any potential cybersecurity threats or loss of compliance that can result from continuing to use Windows 7.
What is End-of-Life?
End-of-life (EOL), is an official date in which a product is no longer supported. In the case of Windows 7, as of January 14, 2020, any machine or appliance still running on the operating system will cease to receive any updates — including both system updates and critical security patches.
What does this mean for your business? Essentially, any machine running on any form of Windows 7 that remains online will be at a potentially higher risk of threatening the security and integrity of your business and every device that runs on it.
What are the Risks?
Once a product is no longer supported, that device is effectively at risk of hacking and unknown vulnerabilities. As of November 2019, nearly 27% of Windows devices are still running on Windows 7. That comes out to roughly 180 million devices.
While NVR appliances are a small subset of that, they are just as vulnerable to new threats as personal computers and other devices that will likely be a major target for hackers looking to spread malware, ransomware, and simply find new ways to infiltrate businesses to capture personal and confidential information.
Continuing to use Windows 7 can also put your business at risk if you are required to meet certain compliance standards. For businesses that capture payment information, it is necessary that they continually meet PCI Compliance. Without regular software and security updates, these systems are no longer compliant as PCI requires that systems remain maintained and secure.
What are the Next Steps?
First, you need to make sure your appliance can even be upgraded. Depending on the NVR appliance, your only options at this point may be to take the system completely offline or to replace it with a new system.
For systems that can be upgraded, it won’t be as simple as clicking “upgrade” and letting the system do the rest. Some vendors have provided steps to upgrade your existing NVR appliance from Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 to a newer operating system like Windows 10, but those steps are complex, costly, and potentially put your existing data at risk. Not only that, but each upgrade is a manual process that has to be performed on every appliance.
Recommendations for Windows 7 Users
If your existing NVR appliance or other video security devices run on any form of Windows 7, take the proper steps to understand what your options are before January 14th. At that point, your operation is put into greater risk, and the next steps to ensuring your video security system is protected can be a time-consuming process.
Considerations to make during this process:
- What will be the cost (time and expense) of upgrading or replacing the existing system?
- Which vendors offer closed software systems (i.e. no third-party software)?
- Which vendors provide automatic, regular software and security updates?
To learn about how Verkada can help you break this cycle of manually upgrading your operating system, please reach out to schedule a 20-minute demo.