Proceed carefully with Windows 11


The Windows Operating System seems like it has been with us forever.  Every time a new version comes out there is always a rush to upgrade. But new system releases are frequently filled with bugs and Windows 11 is no different. Upgrading now could cause a myriad of problems, and it is our recommendation that you should wait until software and system providers have had time to fully test and certify with Windows 11. 

The good news is that you have plenty of time to carefully test and evaluate Windows 11 before taking the plunge. Windows 11 remains a free upgrade from Windows 10 and Microsoft has announced that they will continue to support Windows 10 until October 2025.

As always, your best bet is to thoroughly test all critical applications on Windows 11, including a test of important websites, before pushing the changes out to all workstations.

Let’s look at some of the specific concerns that banks should address when adopting Windows 11.

New Functionalities 

Virtualization Based Security isolates many attack surfaces that could be used to infect a machine or compromise data by isolating functions within the Windows Operating System and its applications. This sounds great, but many cybersecurity professionals question if this feature will simply increase the attack surface.

Older hardware may not be able to support it

This new security feature demands a bigger, better processor, so your current computer may or may not be capable of upgrading.

You can check to see if your device will support Windows 11 by doing this:

  • Type in “update” in the search box on the lower right side of your desktop;
  • Click on “Check for updates.”

If it is possible that your device can support this new environment, it will say so and prompt you to start the upgrade (which you should not do just yet).  

A different kind of end-user environment

Windows 11 has a noticeably different end-user environment. For example, with Windows 11, all the major processes (such as the taskbar, start menu, file explorer, etc.) exist, but they all have different icons and very unfamiliar layouts when compared to Windows 10.  Therefore, it is recommended that you try to see examples of this and try to get familiar with it the best you can before you upgrade.

Microsoft has also moved the taskbar towards the center, rather than from the usual left-hand side that we all have become accustomed to. As more applications are opened on your desktop, the Start menu keeps moving further from the center to the left side in increments. You can pin new software applications in Windows 11, but you can’t do it at the Start menu like Windows 10.  Rather, they appear in an entirely new section, which is called the “All Apps Menu.”

A loss of features

As stated, many people have become completely used to the features of Windows 10, just because it has been around for so long.  But keep in mind that if you do decide to ultimately upgrade to Windows 11, there is a very good chance that you could lose some of these favorite features that you have relied upon so much to get your job tasks done.  For instance, Microsoft removed the ability to move the Taskbar.

Legacy applications

As with any significant update, test your existing applications thoroughly on the new operating system to ensure functionality. Check with your software and hardware vendors for compatibility and roll out Windows 11 on a test system with critical applications installed. 


There are definitely glitches with any new operating system, but if you give your software and system providers time to fully test and certify with Windows 11, the transition will be much smoother. Luckily, Microsoft is giving everyone ample time to adjust. 


Mike Gilmore is the Chief Compliance Officer of RESULTS Technology and a Certified Information Systems Auditor with more than 30 years’ experience in the banking industry. RESULTS Technology provides IT services to community banks across the Midwest. In his role as CCO, Mike provides compliance and risk assessments, audit and exam support and policy documentation. He can be reached at [email protected].