The end of this week will mark the start of a 100-day countdown for law firms currently using Microsoft’s Windows Server 2003 to switch to an updated operating system – sticking with the old one will put client data at risk and leave law firms trailing behind their competitors.
Converge Technology Specialists  (ConvergeTS), the country’s only dedicated Cloud computing provider for law firms, warns that if law firms don’t act now, after 14 July, not only will they be exposed to greater security risks but they will miss out on becoming more operationally efficient and be less agile in responding to market opportunities.
Although Windows Server 2003 software will still operate, the support and security patches will officially end. This will place confidential information at much greater risk from hackers and malware attacks, and could bring down core systems such as case and practice management and email, making it impossible to trade. It also means no new updates, resulting in a less powerful and responsive management system.
It is estimated that more than 10 million machines still run WS2003, including many UK law firms.
Nigel Wright, managing director of ConvergeTS, says: “Law firms need to act now to avoid increased security risks if using Windows Server 2003, as well as ensure their systems are fit for purpose and IT strategies are in line with their plans for growth.
“We strongly recommend that law firms consider updating to modern server hardware and software in order to secure confidential information and ensure their firm can continue compete effectively.
“If your firm does not have a migration plan in place then now is the time to act. The clock is ticking and post 14 July your firm will be increasingly susceptible to attack and be far less competitive, is it worth the risk?”