WinMagic survey finds businesses “unprepared” for obligatory migration to Windows 10

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.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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