Are businesses breaking the law by using SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013?

Over the last ten years, Microsoft’s Product Suite has solidified its position as a fundamental element in modern business practices. Offering a diverse range of productivity tools, it has been instrumental in empowering businesses of varying scales to streamline their processes, resulting in improved outcomes and services for the individuals and entities they serve.

Although SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 have enjoyed sustained popularity over the past decade, both versions have now reached their end of support. Specifically, SharePoint 2010 concluded its support on April 11, 2021, while SharePoint 2013 reached its end of support on April 11, 2023.

It is important to grasp that even though the current configurations of SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 might remain functional, their lack of support exposes significant security vulnerabilities. Businesses that are still operating these older versions, should urgently contemplate transitioning to newer alternatives to mitigate potential risks. This gives rise to a critical question: Could maintaining dependence on out-of-support software potentially result in legal violations?

The security obligations that organisations have

The fact that the end of support for SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 means that Microsoft will no longer be releasing patches for it is precisely why this question must be posed. Modern hackers and cyberattacks are incredibly sophisticated and ubiquitous, with 236.1 million ransomware attacks estimated to have occurred globally in the first half of 2022. As the security designed to protect against attacks becomes more robust, so too does the technology that hackers employ. This means that the original security features of SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 are obsolete in today’s cybersecurity landscape, that is just how quickly attackers are adapting to the situation.

Cybercriminals find certain types of businesses particularly enticing, including Financial Institutions, Healthcare Organisations, Legal Firms, Government Agencies, and Educational Institutions. This heightened interest is due to the fact that these entities often house valuable or sensitive data related to the companies they represent, including personal and financial information.

As a result, establishing strong safeguards to protect the data stored on platforms like SharePoint becomes imperative. This is not just a recommended approach; it is a legal obligation for these organisations. Failure to uphold security responsibilities could lead to severe penalties.

What is next?

Applicable to businesses across the spectrum, the act of continuing to use SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 following the termination of Microsoft’s support might prompt the ICO to ascertain a divergence from established compliance protocols. This, in turn, could potentially lead to the implementation of measures carrying notable implications for both reputation and financial standing.

At Vantage 365, we strongly advise making the shift to SharePoint Online, accessible through Microsoft 365 licensing. The contemporary features within Microsoft 365 are thoughtfully crafted to be captivating, adaptable, and exceptionally high-performing.

To facilitate your migration to SharePoint Online in Microsoft 365, Microsoft offers the SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT), which enables you to move your sites and content seamlessly. However, this has limitations and Vantage 365 can assist you in understanding the migration from On-Premises to SharePoint Online.

Additionally, while there is no direct upgrade path from SharePoint 2010 or SharePoint 2013 to the SharePoint Server Subscription Edition (the latest On-Premises version of SharePoint), upgrading to SharePoint Server Subscription Edition is still an excellent option. This edition introduces a continuous update model, eliminating the need for new major versions of SharePoint Server in the future. To upgrade to Subscription Edition, ensure you are running SharePoint Server 2016 or SharePoint 2019. Since there is no direct path from SharePoint 2010 or SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint 2019, consider upgrading to SharePoint 2016 first and then proceeding to Subscription Edition – Vantage 365 can assist you in understanding the migration from EOL SharePoint Server On-Premises versions to SharePoint Server Subscription Edition.

Both SharePoint Server 2016 and SharePoint 2019 are supported platforms if you intend to continue to use your on-premises SharePoint deployments beyond the end of support for SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013. However, please note that both versions (SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint 2019) will reach the end of support on July 14, 2026 – Microsoft Lifecycle information.

If you need to maintain an on-premises SharePoint deployment, we strongly advise migrating parts of your sites or content to Microsoft 365 with a SharePoint hybrid implementation. This will enable you to capitalise on the modern collaboration experiences, security, and compliance features available in Microsoft 365.

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