Johannesburg, 23 Nov 2023
Business leaders often are risk averse and take the philosophy of "if it's not broken, don't fix it" to heart. Even with IT leaders having the best intentions to modernise, they often prioritise cost saving and keep these upgrade or modernisation decisions on the back burner. It's often a difficult choice between the upfront expense of upgrades and the growing necessity of those upgrades.
It is worth mentioning that as of April 2023, 3.78% of all Windows desktops still run on Windows 7. CentOS continues to command a market share of 8.1% for all websites running on Linux distros, despite being discontinued in 2021. With Microsoft announcing the end of support for Windows 10 by 2025, legacy endpoints do not have much time in your enterprise.
So, how does Endpoint Central come into the picture?
While each IT decision-maker and CISO takes time to strategise for modernisation, their enterprise needs a solution capable of managing a broad range of devices and operating systems (OSes) – especially the legacy ones.
1. Understand the criticality of the legacy devices in your environment:
To truly understand the criticality of legacy devices in your day-to-day operations, you need both a granular and a bird's-eye view of your IT enterprise. Endpoint Central offers these by providing for:
- Operating systems available in your IT: Know granular-level details about your endpoints operating on legacy OSes.
- Age of the endpoints: Classify endpoints based on how long they have been in your enterprise.
- Software details: Track the legacy software present in your network.
- Warranty tracking: Know the warranty details of your endpoints.
- Windows 11 compatibility: Scan your network for devices capable of upgrading from the legacy OS to Windows 11.
2. Legacy or modern, Endpoint Central supports your patches
Did you know that, as of 2020, 75% of the global ATM network runs on Windows 7? Besides simply dispensing money, ATMs are a part of a bank's core banking systems. Microsoft has also announced that it will end support for Windows 10 by 2025. Did you also know that 68% of all the organisations that have suffered ransomware attacks didn't have an effective vulnerability and patch management process in place? This highlights the importance of patching and updating legacy OS and applications. Using Endpoint Central, you can:
- Patch legacy endpoint OSes and server OSes. If patch support ends for an OS, you can still patch the applications in those legacy systems.
- Quarantine the end-of-life OS endpoints using network access control.
- Monitor high-risk software: Track the legacy software's expiration date along with the number of days left before expiration.
3. Legacy devices could be the weakest link in your security chain: Strengthen them using security configurations
Security is the biggest reason why an enterprise should upgrade from legacy devices. According to Morphisec, endpoints with legacy OSes are often part of the core operational backbone of an organisation, and it is challenging to take them offline for an upgrade, especially in healthcare, finance and manufacturing enterprises.
At ManageEngine, we understand how critical this issue is. Endpoint Central can help you:
- Configure firewalls in legacy devices.
- Configure password policies, strengthening the security of legacy endpoints and preventing insider threats and brute-force attacks.
- Leverage user management to restrict the number of users that can access legacy devices. Endpoint Central allows you to choose which users can access your legacy endpoints.
- Prevent data leakage from USB devices by implementing a zero trust model. Create a list of verified peripheral devices for transferring data to and from your legacy endpoints.
- Manage privileges with user account control: Revoke administrative rights to unintended users and enforce the principle of least privilege.
- Harden legacy OS security.
- Disable legacy protocols like Telnet, SMB, SNMP and TFTP, which might make your IT more vulnerable to threats and provide hackers access to your network.
- Ensure that end-users do not ignore certificate errors, enable safe browsing, restrict unsecured plugins, disable automatic file downloads and manage add-ons for Internet Explorer.
- Allowlist and blocklist applications, and restrict user privileges to these applications in legacy endpoints.
4. Seamlessly upgrade your legacy OS to a modern OS using Endpoint Central's OS Deployer
Now that the management and security of the legacy devices is taken care of, it is essential to migrate to a modern OS. Endpoint Central's OS imaging and deployment feature helps with:
- Zero-touch deployment of the OS of your choice.
- Hardware-independent deployment. Never worry about having multiple computer brands in your enterprise.
- User profile migration. Cut down the time required to customise user profiles in new computers so that users can start being productive on day one of migration.
5. Conserve power while modernising
Realising the value of energy saving, both in terms of money and from the perspective of climate change, we have written in depth about how having configurable power management policies could save a lot of expenses for your enterprise.
If your organisation uses legacy hardware like CRT monitors and bulky server machines, Endpoint Central helps you reduce costs by:
- Adjusting the brightness of your display or turning it off when not in use.
- Keeping the systems in sleep mode.
- Remote shutdowns.
- Turning off only the hard disk, and more.
But what happens after you modernise? Will Endpoint Central help you manage and secure your modern devices?
At ManageEngine, we've designed our UEM solution to alleviate this pain point and make the transition much smoother.
Endpoint Central can manage devices spanning from Windows 7 to Windows 11. It leverages both client and modern management capabilities. This broad support is intended to help the enterprises modernise in a phased, planned and gradual manner. Remember that modernisation is not a one-time activity. Your enterprise will most likely deal with end of life for various endpoints and at various times.
Envisioned to serve enterprise IT nearly two decades ago, our UEMS solution now manages over 20 million endpoints and serves 25 000 customers worldwide. Ready to get started? Manage and secure endless endpoints free for 30 days.