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Time to Follow the Data Security Orders

17 Mar 2015 by Shay Moser

While President Obama didn’t mention health technology specifically in his 2015 State of the Union Address, his proposal on cybersecurity will surely help the healthcare industry.

Viruses, spyware, malware, adware—whatever we call them—can affect any office. Recent news of major breaches of patient data prove healthcare facilities are not immune to cyber threats. And just as the doctor’s orders and prescriptions only heal us if we follow the regime, businesses must heed data security measures to protect their data.

For instance, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, part of the Department of Homeland Security, issued an alert in November about Windows Server 2003 end of support.

As of July 14, 2015—which is less than six months away—Microsoft will end its support for the Windows Server 2003 operating system. That’s less than six months away. The implications of not migrating to more modern support immediately involve cybersecurity risk that can affect virtually any office, including healthcare facilities.

The Windows Server 2003 version of the technology is still frequently used because of requirements from legacy applications whose vendors have not updated to newer technologies. A Wall Street Journal article sites a healthcare CIO who notes that a hospital may have 100 to 500 different applications that still require Windows Server 2003.

In July 2014, Microsoft released an estimate of 23.8 million physical and virtual instances of Windows Server 2003 run by businesses globally. The volume of servers that will need to move to new solutions in order to have support is massive, making the need to upgrade all the more important as network threats are likely to increase, according to Pew Research.

Microsoft is prescribing several options to migrate including Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft Azure and Office 365.

President Obama’s proposal on cyber security will impact the healthcare environment. In the meantime, it’s vital to follow data security measures. We care about the health of your environment, too. Contact us to learn more. Even better, visit us at our HIMMS booth in April.