Insight Enterprises, Inc., a leading worldwide technology provider of hardware, software and service solutions, today announced that its North America operating division has formed a new “Rapid Response Team”
to help businesses that have not yet addressed the pending end of Microsoft Windows Server 2003. With six months left before end of service, many businesses have not addressed the issue – and many have taken the wrong approach, compounding the problem to potentially open up millions of computers to cyber attacks and data loss.
Insight’s creation of a Rapid Response Team spurred from concerns outlined not only by many of Insight’s clients, but also by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in a recent alert that said computer systems running unsupported software are exposed to elevated cybersecurity risks such as malicious attacks or electronic data loss.
“As the deadline nears, a large portion of businesses have not taken any steps to address outdated server software, posing a serious threat to data security across the U.S. corporate landscape,” said David Mayer, practice director of Microsoft Solutions for Insight. “As we work with businesses on addressing the issue, it’s also becoming clear that many are confused about the right steps to take. We have established the Insight Rapid Response Team to work specifically on this issue and help businesses act on the critical decisions that need to be made – which could take more than 18 months to implement.”
Given the current lack of readiness and fast-approaching deadline, the Insight Rapid Response Team outlined the top five pitfalls businesses should avoid in operating system migration:
- Insufficient planning and assessment – Many businesses have launched upgrade migrations without knowing the full extent of the server environment, including what critical applications are in use. Businesses may not have conducted a detailed assessment of what data needs to be moved, what does not, and what should never be moved.
- Failure to understand user and organizational impact – Businesses may be underestimating the migration’s impact on daily business operations. Organizations have not scheduled resource-intensive migration tasks for off-peak hours and are not applying the right manpower for ongoing management and reporting on project status.
- Inconsistent or absent coexistence between old and new servers – Businesses must ensure operability between users, that directories are being synchronized, and that they preserve permissions, security settings, and access points to the network and resources.
- Inadequate data protection – Businesses are already reporting data loss during migration because they did not back up their data. Businesses should back up data before, during and after the migration.
- Failing to optimize the new environment – Some businesses overseeing migrations have not created a robust management strategy to reduce the administrative burden. Businesses need to plan for how they will monitor the health of the IT environment to ensure it is secure and compliant.
About Windows Server 2003 End of Service
The end of service for Windows Server 2003 is set for July 14, 2015.
Microsoft research shows the issue has the potential to impact 23.8 million instances of Windows Server 2003, which is running on 11.9 million physical servers worldwide. That’s an estimated 39 percent of all installed Microsoft Server operating systems. Microsoft will no longer provide critical support, automatic fixes, updates, or provide technical assistance past the deadline. Businesses have the option to upgrade to a newer, supported operating system, replace servers or transition their IT operations to a cloud-based service – steps many businesses have yet to take. Those that don’t should budget $1,500 per server if they miss the Windows Server 2003 end of service deadline.
For more information on how to address the end of service, visit www.insight.com/ServerIgnite or call 800-INSIGHT.