Serious Consequences Await For Financial or Healthcare Organizations Who Fail To Upgrade From Windows XP

Windows XPMicrosoft will end support for Windows XP on April 8th, 2014, which gives businesses less than 40 days to migrate to another operating system. The financial and healthcare industries will be severely impacted by the end of support date, yet 95% of ATM machines in the United States are running Windows XP.

While financial institutions and healthcare providers handle an extensive amount of extremely sensitive data, many of these organizations continue to run Windows XP despite the end of support date. Once Microsoft ends support for Windows XP, security updates and fixes will no longer be released, which means machines running the unsupported and unpatched operating system will be vulnerable to malware and other cyber-attacks.

In the healthcare industry, unsupported and unpatched operating systems aren’t compliant with HIPAA. In fact, Section 164.308 (a) (5) (ii) (b) of the HIPAA Security Rule states that all covered entities handling ePHI must have procedures in place to prevent, detect, and report malicious software.

So what should financial institutions and healthcare providers do to deal with the upcoming end of support date? Here are 5 tips to help you handle the end of Windows XP:

1.     Stop Delaying the Migration Process

When you’re handling sensitive data, it’s absolutely critical to avoid running an unsupported and unpatched operating system. While migrating to a secure operating system may be time-consuming and costly, it’s necessary to protect your organization, data, and customers.

2.     Upgrade Workstations

If necessary, upgrade your workstations. If they’re old and outdated, they’re not as secure as they need to be. If you’re in the financial or healthcare industry, non-compliance penalties will be much more expensive than the cost of upgrading your workstations.

3.     Consider Software/Hardware Compatibility

Before you choose a new operating system, make sure your current software and hardware will be compatible. Perform a software and hardware audit to determine what’s compatible or incompatible, and upgrade software/hardware if necessary.

4.     Upgrade from Exchange Server 2003 and Server 2003

Microsoft will end support for Exchange Server 2003 on April 8th, 2014. In addition, Microsoft will end support for Server 2003 in July 2015. While you’re upgrading from Windows XP, it’s a good idea to upgrade from Exchange Server 2003 and Server 2003 as well.

Looking to improve productivity and efficiency while mitigating security risks? Upgrade from Windows XP before April 8th, 2014. To learn more, give us a call or send us an email. As your trusted Microsoft Partner we can help you select and implement a secure operating system.

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