Following the recent end-of-life announcement for Microsoft SharePoint 2013, any manufacturing business still actively using the platform could be placing the security of sensitive information and documents at risk

The announcement, which came earlier this year, means that Microsoft will no longer provide technical support for any problems that occur on the platform, including bug or security fixes for any vulnerabilities that are discovered.

For those businesses that use SharePoint and haven’t yet upgraded from the out-of-support version, they risk leaving themselves vulnerable to security breaches, which could be financially and reputationally damaging given the strict GDPR and data protection laws.

To mitigate these risks, organisations are being urged to migrate to SharePoint Online – a supported alternative with enhanced functionality compared to its predecessors.

Jason Betteridge, Managing Director at Business Intelligence and Productivity solutions provider, Circyl, commented: “Many of the manufacturing businesses that utilise this technology remain unaware of the recent announcement and what it could mean for their long-term security.

“Whilst it may still run properly and perform the required tasks as it always has, its end-of-life status means that any future issues will not be addressed, regardless of how damaging they may be. This also applies to SharePoint 2010, where the end of extended support was announced back in 2021.

“Given the significant amount of damage and negative media attention that high-profile security breaches can attract, it is absolutely essential that businesses ensure their solutions are up to date, so they can provide adequate support and protection.

“Aside from the obvious security benefits, a modern SharePoint platform is also much more cost-effective than an on-premises or hosted solution and it allows users to access information and collaborate from any location during an era of hybrid working.

“For many businesses, the most off-putting aspect of the process is the migration itself, as they sometimes feel overwhelmed by the prospect of moving documents and adjusting to a brand new solution that employees are not accustomed to.

“If this is the case, then businesses should engage a team of experienced technical consultants who will manage the SharePoint migration, delivering a solution that has been tailored to meet their needs and requirements.”