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  • Patch Lady – Still running Small Business Server?

    Posted on January 6th, 2020 at 23:04 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Remember it too comes to end of life on January 2020.  While Exchange 2010 is still supported until October, the based OS of the server is not and for sure there’s no way to get extended patches for it.

    If you have not migrated there are resources to help you… most of these are not free, but if you need help just know that there are people out there still supporting and migrating Small Business Servers.

    1. Mariette Knap was a SBS MVP years ago and she’s still out here supporting small businesses.  If you need to know how to get from point A (an old SBS box) to point…whatever… she probably has the documentation for you.
    2.  If you are trying to get your head around Office 365 (not to be confused with the Office suite, but the hosted email service) Alex Fields’s site is your helpful go to place to get guidance in making Office 365 secure for small business.  It is my personal opinion that by default – as you get it delivered to you from Microsoft, you are a sitting duck for attackers.  They know you have basic authentication enabled, they know you don’t have multi factor turned on, they know that if you are like most of us you’ve reused the same web password for 1/2 a dozen things.  And you are a sitting duck for phishers to go after you.  Alex’s guidance and security best practice checklists make it so that you CAN be secure.
    3. If you are … yes they are still out there… still running SBS 2003 and are worried about the server shutting down because it no longer holds the FSMO roles there’s a workaround.  It’s an Active directory domain thing that Small Business Server in particular has to be the only root domain in the network… if you have two domain controllers online and you move the FSMO roles over to the new domain controller, the SBS box will shut down.  If you need to buy yourself more time to migration the server there’s a long standing “hack” that has worked for years.  Bottom line don’t panic.
    4. The main thing to remember – especially with ransomware – and <cough> all of the political news that is warning that attacks from overseas might come via cyber means, is to have a backup.  Have a backup even if you are in the cloud.  If you are running online or hosted email in the cloud you can look to vendors to add backup of Cloud services.  If you are merely running a small peer to peer network, make sure you have backups even if it’s as simple as a usb attached hard drive.  Do check if your local backup vendors provide a way to have a “permission” protected backup so that the ransomware attackers can’t encrypt your local backup as well.  Many vendors provide free backup software but in my experience with them, they don’t provide the necessary “hiding” of the drive so that attackers could end up attacking the backups as well.  Consider multiple usb drives in rotation.
    5. As the support for Small Business Server 2011 formally and officially comes to a complete end, rethink how you have your network set up.  Do you really need a domain?  Should you go back to peer to peer?  What’s really key for your business?  Should some things be in the cloud?  Don’t merely thing a virtual server in a cloud location is the best solution.  Moving QuickBooks desktop to a hosted server may not be the best (and truly isn’t) experience for you and your business.
    6. Remember as a small business you can purchase for $61(US) the first year of extended security updates for Windows 7 (Amy’s form to request more info here).  However this will not protect your Server.  It will stop getting Windows Server updates on January 14, 2020.

    Bottom line, a lot of Small Business Servers were installed in places where the price of the product was great, but the fit to the business needs not so much.  Hopefully most (all) of you reading this post will say … oh this is old news, I’ve migrated years ago… but in case you haven’t…. you aren’t without resources and help.