Tech giant, Microsoft, recently announced that it will officially send Windows 7 into its end-of life phase on Jan. 14, 2020. On that day, Microsoft’s support of these products will come to an end and no further updates or security patches will be issued. This lack of critical support will make it necessary for you to upgrade. Upgrading will be necessary for the safety of your entire IT network. Windows 10 HIPAA compliance will become more important than ever before now that Microsoft has announced this major shift.

What Lack of Windows 7 support will look like for my practice?

 

1. Discontinued support of Windows 7 means that the technical support, routine feature updates, and automatic security patches you have received in the past as a licensee will no longer exist. Without security patches and updates, your network workstations could be vulnerable to malicious attack.

2. Discontinued support of Windows Server 2008 would mean much the same for your server. Technical assistance and updates will no longer be available for your server, and your whole network will become vulnerable. The discontinuation of cyber security patches may leave you exposed to online attacks including ransomware. A vulnerable network could cause you to be non-compliant with HIPAA, PCI, and your insurance carriers. This may cause you to lose critical certifications.

 

Windows 7 End of Life: Effect on Medical Practice

 

By failing to update your computer systems once Windows 7 goes out of service, health care professionals run the risk of creating major compatibility issues, delays in scheduling software, data loss, and costly data breaches resulting from security vulnerabilities.

In addition to these serious security risks, there are some technical issues that should also be taken into account. If you are a health care professional already working with an IT service or MSP, then the first step should be to contact them to work on a plan to update your systems to Windows 10. HIPAA compliance security requirements can be handled by your IT provider or MSP, and doing this kind of update should be well within their scope.

The first thing you want to do is ensure is that you make this update with minimal disruption to your business. That means that all data should be backed up. Your IT provider should then test some of the devices that have been updated using that backed-up data. This is to ensure compatibility and test if a full migration of your computer systems is ready for roll-out. Once all of the tests have proven effective, work with your IT provider or MSP to perform the migration over to Windows 10.

 

Is Windows 10 HIPAA Compliant?

With the life cycle of Windows 7 coming to an end, it’s important that servers in Windows 7 be reconfigured, such that the privacy and security of data and information is maintained in accordance with HIPAA regulation. Windows 10 HIPAA compliance is an important part of running any health care organization.

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