Whenever Microsoft release a new product, whether it’s a new version of Windows, Office or Windows Server, this product has a limited time that it will be supported. Generally, Microsoft will continue to provide support, such as security and feature updates, for roughly 7 years , and then will start to phase out the product in favour of new technologies. In line with this process, Microsoft has now announced that support for Windows Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2 will end on 10th October 2023.
This means from October 11th Microsoft will no longer release updates to servers running on Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2. You can purchase Extended Security updates that will cover you for 12 months at a time, from October 11th, 2023, to October 11th, 2025, but these are designed as temporary measures to help you migrate to a new server. There are several other reasons why you should consider upgrading to a new version of Windows Server, sooner rather than later.
Newer encryption methods and security protocols may not be available for Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2.
Encryption is used to protect the confidentiality of digital data that is stored on servers or transmitted over any network, including the internet. As data breaches continue to happen in increasingly advanced ways, it’s important to make sure you are using the most up-to-date encryption methods and security protocols to keep your data secure. If you are running an unsupported version of Windows Server, you may be unable to take advantage of the newest innovations in cybersecurity.
Vulnerabilities may not be patched or even discovered.
Microsoft constantly tests their current products to check for vulnerabilities and develops patches to make sure they can’t be exploited. When a product reaches end of life, Microsoft has no incentive to keep their products secure, which means vulnerabilities are unlikely to be patched, if they are exposed.
You become an easy target for cybercriminals.
Cybercriminals keep on top of technology news to make the most of possible new opportunities to steal data, and they will be aware that Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2, which means they’ll be aware of the opportunity to exploit vulnerabilities. This means any servers running on Sever 2012 are an easy target for any cybercriminals looking to steal valuable data.
Third-party software is no longer supported.
As we touched on earlier when we mentioned that third-party security software may no longer receive updates on an unsupported operating system, the same can be said for all third-party software. Many third-party software vendors will stop releasing updates and patches for their products running on Windows Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2 and move to focus their own efforts on supporting new technologies. This means your third-party software, whether it’s finance software, CRM software, sales management, electronic point of sale, inventory management, personnel management, office suite, communications applications or even something as benign as an image editing suite becomes vulnerable to attack and left in the past .
Most servers (both virtual and physical) will be licensed to the latest available operating system at the time of inception. For physical servers, the hardware will be approaching the end of its lifespan , which means there is a higher chance of hardware failure. With each iteration of Windows Server Microsoft Update the minimum and recommended hardware requirements, and you may find a server that was built for Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2 doesn’t meet the requirements for running the latest version of Windows Server.
The time and cost of upgrading to a new version of Windows Server can vary greatly depending on the purpose of your server, and the version of Windows Server you are upgrading from.
Rio IT has Microsoft-certified engineers who can confidently and accurately consult and advise on the best path to upgrade your servers to the latest version available, making the entire process easy and predictable, reducing unwanted disruptions to your business.
Rio IT engineers are also able to take this opportunity to advise on your general security policies including areas such as data storage, data transmission, secure backups, device encryption for portable devices and disaster recovery.