On Jan, 14, 2020, Microsoft retired the popular Windows 7 operating system (OS). For businesses who have not upgraded to a supported version of Windows, Microsoft allows them to purchase extended support via Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU). With this service, businesses will continue to receive security updates at an extra cost.
Recently, Microsoft released an important prerequisite to obtaining critical automatic Windows 7 updates via Windows 7 ESU. This update, ESU Licensing Preparation Package KB4538483, requires manual intervention and installation per affected device before it will download and install any patches released in February.
Unpatched vulnerabilities in widely-used software apps and OSs is a favorite tactic of cybercriminals as it allows them to compromise multiple systems. An active and ongoing patch management process ensures that proper preventive measures are taken against potential threats. The longer software apps and OSs remain unpatched, the longer they are vulnerable to compromise. Timely patching is one of the lowest costs, yet most effective steps an organization can take to minimize its exposure to the threats facing its network.
Course of Action
If your organization has Windows 7 ESU, Systems Engineering highly recommends applying this patch as soon as possible. For our clients, we are proactively contacting and scheduling this update for those we have helped to deploy Windows 7 ESU.