Adopting a new operating system allows you to take advantage of better technology to streamline the essential processes that keep your business moving. The move, however, does come with its own risks, especially if you’re migrating over an entire network of machines.
While you need to be conscious of vulnerabilities that arise during any migration, it is wise to take particular caution when your move is instigated by an operating system becoming obsolete.
For instance, support ending for Windows 7 is currently driving a lot of people towards newer systems. There is only a short amount of time left to adopt a new system and many organisations are facing delays due to a shortage of replacement machines. This could put a lot of businesses looking to move this month at risk.
Here are our tips to keeping on top of any threats that might arise during the migration process.
Double check that all your essential cybersecurity measures are fully functioning
There is never a bad time to ensure that your essential cybersecurity protocols are working as effectively as possible. But if you’re likely to use obsolete system for even a small amount of time, it’s worth being completely confident ahead of time that your basic security measures aren’t likely to fail when you are at your most vulnerable.
Now is an ideal time to make sure all your devices are properly patched and encrypted, and that your Anti-Virus, firewalls and other defensive tools are all implemented across your network.
Reduce the use of obsolete devices to the absolute necessities
If you can’t completely prevent vulnerable devices from accessing sensitive information, at least minimise it as much as you can. If you have other devices with supported operating systems you can use temporarily, you’ll be at less risk using them than a completely unsupported system until your network is fully migrated.
The more you can limit vulnerable devices from accessing your important data, the less of an attack surface is available for criminals to exploit.
Treat any external content as potentially untrustworthy
This includes everything from third party links embedded in emails to removable media. The fewer channels malicious attacks can use to reach vulnerable devices, the smaller the risk to your business. Even if you usually trust the source of a piece of content, it’s worth taking extra precaution during the migration period when it comes to anything that has come from outside your organisation.
Wipe all devices connected to your network to catch any resident malware
Anything that is already lurking in your system has the potential to cause a lot of damage if it manages to infect a device once its support comes to an end. Even if all your cybersecurity defences are in place, your protection will largely be focused on external attacks, rather than threats that are already embedded in your system.
While they will still be vulnerable to new attacks, ensuring that your unsupported devices are fully sanitised at the point of migration can save you a lot of unnecessary hassle.
Be prepared with an effective incident response plan
Even with the most comprehensive protection you can manage, malicious attacks can still get through. The best way to ensure you are fully prepared to fight against one is to be sure that you can mitigate damage efficiently and effectively in the case of a breach.
Having a reliable incident response plan means that, should a compromise occur, you’ll be able to contain and eradicate any threats with minimal damage done to your network.