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Hello, I wanted to ask if let's say that Microsoft has stopped supporting Windows Server 2003 now so there is no any security updates and I use that system for Domain Controller (Windows XP/7 Professional Clients) and File Server only + I'm using ESET NOD23 AntiVirus.

Will my system be secure? I'm asking because I don't surf internet on that system nor I will install/open any programs/documents and that server is connected to router without any open ports.

"On July 14, 2015, all Windows 2003 support, including security updates and security-related hotfixes, will be terminated."

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Do your future self a favor and execute a plan to migrate to newer software before July 14, 2015. –  Michael Hampton Sep 20 '12 at 13:59
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

End of Support/End of Life (EoS \ EoL) does not automatically make a system less secure or useful, and as much as it pains me to say, I've still got some Windows 2000 machines in my environment (and client's environments) that chug along just fine and aren't a problem.

Having said that, after the end of support, no new patches or updates will be issued for the OS (so there won't be any new Windows/Microsoft updates available for it), and you won't be able to get any technical support from Microsoft on anything using that operating system. That's really all that EoS means. No more support for it from the manufacturer.

The bigger issue, frankly, is that after 2015, 3rd party vendors will stop supporting it as well (if they haven't done so already), and you'll generally find it unable to run anything new, or update whatever software's on there at the moment. It's also vastly more inconvenient to support, because Windows 2003 is based on an older version of the NT kernel, with far fewer features than Vista/Server 2008 and above. So you will (if you haven't already) run into a lot more cases where there's one way to manage and administer the 2008 and above servers, that doesn't work on 2003, so you need to create and maintain a second set of processes and scripts and the like.

More trouble than it needs to be, which is really the big reason I try to migrate everything off of Windows 2003 as quickly as possible - it's already hard enough, and more effort than it should be to manage these old systems, and it's only going to get harder, especially after EoS/EoL.

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Q: Will my system be secure?

A: The security of the machine isn't predicated solely on the existence of or the current and future installation of security updates and hotfixes. In addition, this question is too broad to answer effectively. Will it be secure? Secure in what sense? Secure from what?


Q: Will the system be vulnerable to issues identified after the EOL of Windows Server 2003 support that would have been addressed by security updates and hotfixes?

A: Yes

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