Microsoft first announced that it would discontinue support for Windows XP, Office 2003 and Exchange 2003 in April to give users a year to update. So, after April 8, 2014, Microsoft will not release any more security patches for any of the aforementioned software. That means that in eight months’ time, Windows XP users will be non-compliant.
The Healthcare Industry Must Upgrade
Of course, the software will still run but it will violate HIPAA and HITECH government standards for the protection of privacy and sensitive information. Non-secured software, like unsupported operating systems, are extremely vulnerable to hacking or malware.
Many healthcare organizations are still running Windows XP on a myriad of devices, like workstations and equipment. These devices are not only critical to daily functions, like a CT machine, but connect to networks as part of a larger system.
An Opportunity For Enhanced Technology
Upgrading complex IT systems isn’t an easy task. In fact, compatibility might become a large concern; some devices might run on a proprietary software that won’t work with updated systems right off the bat. It’s important to start the transition process immediately (if not back in April) to ensure a smoother transition.
Your office infrastructure may sorely need replacing. And, computing has come along way in 12 years. It might be time to consider virtualizing your servers to store and migrate your data. The healthcare industry accrues vast amounts of data that requires secure storage. This can place a burden on hardware and operations costs.
Learn about virtualizing your servers.