A new study conducted by encryption and key management solutions provider WinMagic has found that organisations are largely unprepared for when support of older versions of Microsoft’s Windows Operating System (OS) will be withdrawn in January 2020. When questioned about their lack of readiness for the obligatory migration to Windows 10, Microsoft’s newest OS, respondents cited IT security and fears of being exposed to a cyber security vulnerability as two key areas of concern.
The study was carried out at IP Expo in London this month. No less than 150 visitors to the event were asked a series of questions to determine their awareness of the need to migrate to Windows 10 and to understand any concerns they might have regarding their organisation’s own migration plans.
Nearly a quarter of organisations (23%) are not ready to migrate to Windows 10. 30% are not aware that support for older versions of the Windows OS will cease. Around one third (29%) are fairly or very concerned about the migration process, while nearly two-thirds (68%) fear exposure to a cyber security vulnerability during the migration process. One third (33%) don’t know if they have the right tools in place to deliver a secure migration.
The study found overwhelmingly that not only are nearly a quarter (23%) of businesses yet to start preparations for the migration to Windows 10, but 17% were ignorant of the topic altogether and had no idea if preparations within their organisation are even in place. Furthermore, around one third of those questioned (30%) didn’t know that support for these older versions of the Windows OS would stop in less than 18 months’ time.
Respondents to the survey expressed varying levels of concern about the migration, with 29% being fairly or very concerned. Only around one third of respondents (34%) had no concerns about migrating to Windows 10.
Security and user data loss
Of those who are worried about the migration, security and user data loss were among the biggest concerns (at 28%), while 68% of respondents fear the migration process could expose their organisation to a security vulnerability. Other concerns include application management and software and hardware compatibility as well as user disruption or loss of productivity.
When it came to the actual migration process, 36% hadn’t considered migration technology as an option. Over one quarter (28%) didn’t know if their organisation was considering migration technology. Around one third (33%) didn’t know if they had the right tools in place to deliver a secure migration.
Luke Brown, vice-president for the EMEA region at WinMagic, said: “The clock is ticking. If organisations don’t move fast, they could find themselves scrabbling last minute to deliver a seamless and secure migration to Windows 10. The results of our survey show that there’s still limited knowledge around what will be a very significant IT transition for many. IT and security teams need to act now. If they don’t, come January 2020 they could find themselves experiencing the worst New Year hangover of all time.”