January 14, 2020 will mark Microsoft Windows 7 End of Life. If you are among the 79% of organizations still operating on this 9-year-old system, there are several important facts you should know.

The Bigger Picture: What Windows 7 End Of Life Means for You

When Microsoft retires an operating system, they no longer create patches and fixes, likely leaving your system, as well as your data, exposed to malware attacks. End of life means increased vulnerability and security issues for computers operating on the soon-to-be outdated Windows 7 OS. 

Windows 7 end of life also means that upgrading to a new operating system like Windows 10 may impact other technology that “talks to” your computer and vice versa. This includes your ID card printer as well as ancillary hardware like barcode scanners and digital cameras. 

How Windows 7 End of Life Impacts ID Card Printing Technology

As Windows 7 End of Life approaches, businesses of all sizes are forced to make some important decisions. Making the safest decision for your organization may impact how you print ID cards. 

Whether you choose to stay on the outdated Windows 7 system come January 15th (which we would not recommend) or you decide to upgrade to Windows 10, the ID badge printer model you have will determine if you can continue doing business as usual with your security badge issuance, or if change is necessary. 

What Our Experts Suggest

If You Are Upgrading to Windows 10

We recommend all current Windows 7 users contact our support team to learn if your ID card printer model will be compatible with Windows 10. Legacy printers will not be compatible with the new operating system, and recent models will need a new driver to support your updated system. 

If You Are Planning to Use Windows 7 beyond January 14, 2020

If you are not upgrading Windows at this time, here is what we suggest:

1. Create an offline dedicated workstation.

This approach caters to the “if-it-isn’t-broken-don’t-fix-it” mentality. While we do not recommend having Windows 7 on-network or online due to the security risks mentioned above, you can still operate your current ID card printer from an offline computer. 

By creating an offline dedicated workstation specifically for ID card creation and issuance, you can continue using your ID card printer as usual, even if the model has been discontinued. 

2. Review the risks of operating on legacy technology.

If you are a business who cannot afford to be down, and your technology has been discontinued, we recommend you upgrade both your ID card printer and your operating system immediately. 

However, if being without your secure credential printer for a week or more does not pose problems for your team, you may be fine working with your legacy system as long as the printer can function.

3. Connect with us if you would like support.

Our team of experts has 40 years of ID management experience and can answer any questions you have about your current system. We recommend you connect with experts like us in the face of big changes like this.

So to recap, if you have an older model ID card printer but plan to upgrade from Windows 7, you will experience compatibility issues. Also, if you plan to stay on Windows 7, doing business as usual on-network, you will be more vulnerable to malware attacks. Be sure to make the best decision to protect your organization. 

To learn if your current operating system will function with your ID card management solution, or to find the right ID card printer for your specific needs, contact us today. Feel confident that you are making the right choice. 

ADVANTIDGE has offered custom identity management solutions since 2001. We always strive to help our customers find a better way, recognizing that no two clients have the exact same security needs.

References:
Tech Republic – It’s 2019, and one-third of businesses still have active Windows XP deployments