Windows Server 2003 end-of-life is the biggest security threat of 2015

Windows Server 2003 a security risk?
Windows Server 2003 a security risk?

Microsoft's shuttering of Windows Server 2003 this July has the potential to be the "biggest security threat of 2015" according to one IT specialist.

Ade Foxall, CEO of application portfolio management firm Camwood, thinks that the impending demise of the popular product could have serious repercussions for the millions of servers that still run on the platform across the globe.

"After the recent migration away from Windows XP, IT departments should be more aware than ever of the dangers of using an out-of-date platform. And yet, the lack of awareness surrounding Server 2003 is about to pose an unprecedented security threat to businesses all over the world," Foxall said.

Foxall's 'Server 2003 is dead. What are you going to do?' report also found that the IT community isn't giving Server 2003's demise much of a second thought. From an analysis of over 5,000 IT publications it reported that Server 2003 received just five per cent of the coverage that Windows XP garnered last April.

Estimates on the number of Windows Server 2003 users vary wildly from a modest 2.6 million to the heady 11 million figure cited by Foxall. Although this is dwarfed by the number that were still using Windows XP last year, it's still a significant amount.

Most moving to the cloud

It's expected that many will move to the cloud once that EOL has passed and a separate survey by Spiceworks found that three-quarters of companies running Server 2003 will take some, if not all, of their applications into the virtual space.

When Microsoft eventually removes support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, it will no longer deliver critical security updates or patches for the system. Additionally, it's currently unclear whether it will allow companies or organisations to pay extra to carry on support.