In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, the backbone of many organizations’ IT infrastructure lies in their server operating systems. However, as technology evolves, so do the threats that come with it. This reality underscores the critical importance of keeping server operating systems up-to-date and supported. Unfortunately, many companies are still running on outdated and unsupported operating systems, exposing themselves to significant risks and liabilities.

Here is a closer look at the timeline of end-of-life (EOL) dates for several Windows Server (WS) and RHEL versions:

  • Windows Server 2003: Support ended in July 2015
  • Windows Server 2008/2008 R2: Support ended in January 2020
  • Windows Server 2012/2012 R2: Support ended in October 2023
  • Windows Server 2016: Support will end in January 2027
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5: Support ended in March 2017
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6: Support ended in November 2020

Operating on these outdated systems leaves companies vulnerable to a multitude of cyber threats. Without access to regular security updates and patches, these systems become prime targets for hackers and cybercriminals. Exploiting known vulnerabilities in unsupported operating systems is a common tactic used by malicious actors to gain unauthorized access, steal sensitive data, or disrupt business operations. With cyber threats becoming increasingly sophisticated and prevalent, the risks of running unsupported operating systems cannot be overstated.

From a business perspective, the decision to continue using unsupported operating systems can also carry significant liabilities for a company’s Board of Directors. Boards have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the company, which includes mitigating risks and safeguarding assets. Operating on unsupported systems directly contradicts this duty, as it exposes the company to unnecessary risks that could result in financial losses, legal liabilities, and damage to shareholder value.

Considering these risks and liabilities, it’s imperative for companies to prioritize migrating their apps to supported and up-to-date server operating systems. This may involve investing in new servers, updating applications, and implementing robust cybersecurity measures. While the initial costs and efforts of migration may seem daunting, they pale in comparison to the potential consequences of a security breach or regulatory non-compliance.

Ultimately, the message is clear: the risks of running unsupported operating systems far outweigh any perceived benefits. Companies must take proactive steps to upgrade their server infrastructure, protect their assets, and fulfill their obligations to stakeholders. By embracing modern technology and security practices, organizations can future-proof their IT systems and ensure a strong foundation for growth and success in an increasingly digital world.

Contact VirtaMove to learn how container-based intelligent migration of legacy apps can help you move forward and fix legacy app exposures.