Businesses are advised to update certain outdated software due to a data security risk.

Microsoft will be discontinuing their support for various outdated software on January 14, 2020, including their Windows 7, Microsoft Office 2010, Exchange 2010, Windows Server 2008 and Small Business Server 2011.

The products, which is still used in some older office PCs, will pose a security risk as they will no longer receive vital updates to prevent hackers from accessing and harming their devices.

Haree Patel, an IT security specialist for the IT support company iceConnect, has issued a warning to any businesses who may still be operating with these outdated products. He said: “End of life means Microsoft no longer supports the software.

“So while it will continue to work, it will not be fixed by Microsoft if it’s compromised. In my mind, that makes end of life software a major target for hackers.

“In fact, I believe that some hackers are already storing up vulnerabilities they’ve found in this software and will unleash them next year. Once Microsoft stops supporting it, there will be no-one to stop them.”

IceConnect operates in Barnet, and Mr Patel says he believes particularly that “half of the businesses” around Barnet use at least one of the soon to be outdated software.

Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 10, is the best option to upgrade to for PC users still on Windows 7 and is compatible with most PCs and laptops. Other individual software packages for the latest Microsoft Office, Exchange, Windows Server and Small Business Server should also be made.

Mr Patel has launched a free book which is simple to understand for those less versed in technology, to help business owners identify if their software is outdated and how to easily update it.