Sophos Antivirus Support Has Ended for Windows 7

Threat Level: Medium
Threat Type: Malware Risk
Advisory Date: 07/13/2023


The current antivirus solution at the University of Regina is Sophos Endpoint Security and Control.  As of January 8, 2022 the vendor will no longer support this software on Windows 7.  As a result, virus signature updates will no longer be available and new malware will not be detected.  Inability to detect new malware is a security risk. It can affect the availability of your computer and/or the confidentiality, integrity or availability of your data.   

Additionally, the Windows 7 operating system has not been supported by Microsoft since January 14, 2020. This means that Microsoft will no longer be issuing any security updates for this operating system. 

Due to the lack of ongoing updates and support from both the security vendor, and the operating system vendor, it is strongly recommended that users upgrade to a supported operating system such as Windows 10.


If you continue to use Windows 7, your computer will become increasingly vulnerable to security risks and viruses.  It is strongly recommended to migrate to a supported OS.

If this is not possible, you are required to ensure Windows 7 machines have an anti-virus solution in place past the end of support for Sophos Endpoint Security and Control.  Moreover, a policy exception should be documented to permit the continued operation of the off-support system.

There is no change in support for Windows 8, 10 and 11 and for those systems, no action is required.  Windows 7 system owners are requested to take action to address this risk.  


Windows 7 system owners should complete one of the following actions as soon as possible:

  1. If the Windows 7 computer is no longer needed, please shut it down permanently. Please contact Supply Management Services to dispose of the equipment securely.
  2. If the computer is still required, users are requested to replace the system or upgrade to a supported operating system (Windows 10).
    • If you wish to acquire an unmanaged replacement computer, Information Services may have a limited supply of salvage machines, with Windows 10, for purchase. These sales are restricted to FOAPAL accounts
    • If you wish to upgrade your existing hardware to a new operating system please submit a request to ITSC to evaluate the capability of the existing hardware to run Windows 10.  If the hardware is determined to be suitable, you will need to purchase a license for the new operating system. This can be done via the Microsoft Software License Request form.
  3. If the Windows 7 machine is required to support specialist equipment with specific compatibility requirements and cannot be replaced or upgraded, it is the responsibility of the computer owner to ensure a replacement antivirus solution is installed. Antivirus software with ongoing updates and support is required, although most anti-virus vendors have ceased supporting Windows 7 or are planning to end soon.
    • The system should be assessed to ensure that confirm that it cannot be replaced or upgraded, and as such, receive a policy exception to permit continued operation of the off-support operating system.  This can be done by submitting a request to ITSC.
    • If a suitable antivirus suite is not installed, the Windows 7 machine may be required to be disconnected from the University network.

Windows 7 system owners are requested to contact the ITSC to arrange for one of these options to be scheduled. 


Please contact the IT Support Centre if you have any questions or to arrange time to address a Windows 7 system:
Phone 306-585-4685
In Person at ED 137 or Archer Library Commons

Additional Resources:

Sophos Endpoint Security and Control: Retirement calendar for supported platforms and operating systems