Killing off support for one of its operating systems is becoming an annual tradition for Microsoft.

Last year, it was Windows XP.

This year, the software giant will end extended support for its popular Windows Server 2003 OS on July 14. That means no more security patches and updates — and that could mean trouble for late-adopting small businesses.

“Computer systems running unsupported software are exposed to an elevated risk to cybersecurity dangers, such as malicious attacks or electronic data loss,” the Department of Homeland Security warns. “Users may also encounter problems with software and hardware compatibility since new software applications and hardware devices may not be built for Windows Server 2003.”

More ominously, Homeland Security warns that “(o)rganizations that are governed by regulatory obligations may find they are no longer able to satisfy compliance requirements while running Windows Server 2003.”

For Microsoft’s rivals, this presents one hell of an opportunity.

For many of Microsoft’s clients, though, some huge questions remain, namely: What should they do to protect themselves?

Here are some resources that might help:

Security concerns? CPA NetProtect can help
If you’re concerned about possible security breaches stemming from the retirement of Windows Server 2003, AON’s CPA NetProtect can help. CPA NetProtect provides two enhancements to the network risk and privacy claim coverage currently included in the AICPA Professional Liability Insurance policy. Find out more about CPA NetProtect here.

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