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Is the death of Windows Server 2003 the biggest security risk of 2015?

Today is the day Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 finally bites the dust.

As of 14 July 2015, the operating system will no longer be supported by the developers, meaning no more patches, security updates and bulletins. Any newly discovered vulnerabilities and cracks in the system will be left for the hackers to exploit.

That wouldn't be much of a big deal if 70 per cent of of companies in the UK were not still running Windows Server 2003, and if most haven't missed the deadline of 14 July 2015.

A survey conducted by security endpoint specialist Bit9+Carbon Black found that over a third of those that planned to upgrade would miss the deadline.

Joe McKendrick, senior analyst and contributor at Forbes Insights, explained in a guest post on Microsoft's SMB blog (opens in new tab): "The software and underlying hardware in Windows Server 2003 was not designed to run or effectively integrate with today’s generation of applications, or to support greater mobility and cloud access.

"If a company wants to run components in the cloud or enhance connectivity with suppliers and customers, additional workarounds are required."

Many businesses hesitate to upgrade to newer versions of the Windows Server, citing costs, time and manpower which could put, in their opinion, to better use. However, not upgrading might soon be more expensive than upgrading, as Microsoft said it planned to charge $600 (£385) per machine, per month to companies that miss the deadline and require support.

It might not sound like much for a business, but when you multiply that with the number of machines, over an extended period of time, it will start to add up quickly.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.