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There are over 8 million Windows Server 2003 OS in operation according to Gartner

11/02/2015 by Sharon Shahzad


Gartner reckons there are eight million Windows Server 2003 OS instances in operation, and SI Avanade reckons that of those instances, a full 20 per cent – 1.6 million – will blow past the 14 July end-of-support date.

What happens six months from now, on 14 July? That's the date Microsoft issues its last security fix ever for Window Server 2003 – the end of extended support from the server operating system's maker.

That means any new hacks built or vulnerabilities discovered in Windows Server 2003 and those running the legacy server OS will be facing them on their own.It’s a problem if your server systems hold data of any kind – which they will – and could be accessed directly or indirectly from the internet.

Server systems are generally thought isolated from external attackers, but last year’s attack on Sony Pictures put an end to that illusion.Sony’s internal financial and employee systems were compromised and employees’ personal data snaffled by hackers. Sony’s only response was to take the systems offline.This becomes of even greater concern if you work in a regulated industry like finance or pharmaceutical, where watchdogs will levy fines if you put customers’ data at risk.The last time we jumped though this upgrade hoop was in April 2014, when Microsoft ended extended support for Windows XP.

XP had been running on millions of machines worldwide, tens of thousands in the UK government alone. Of course the number of Windows Server 2003 instances is small in comparison to the numbers of Windows XP overall, but the problem is actually bigger.

A 2013 survey of Fortune 1000 IT pros by AppZero, touted by Microsoft, reckons more than half had 100 or more Windows 2003 servers.

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