Experience. Integrity. Advocacy.
Experience. Integrity. Advocacy.

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Users Should Upgrade to Stay HIPAA-Compliant

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As of July 14, 2015, Microsoft will no longer support or provide updates to their Windows Server 2003. According to Microsoft, updates provide patches that address system vulnerabilities, and after the end of life date, “Microsoft will no longer issue security updates for any version of Windows Server 2003. If you are still running Windows Server 2003 in your datacenter, you need to take steps now to plan and execute a migration strategy to protect your infrastructure.”

According to Ade Foxall, CEO of application portfolio management firm Camwood, the end of life of Windows Server 2003 will be one of the major security threats of 2015 if users do not take action.

“After the recent migration away from Windows XP, IT departments should be more aware than ever of the dangers of using an out-of-date platform. And yet, the lack of awareness surrounding Server 2003 is about to pose an unprecedented security threat to businesses all over the world,” Foxall told TechRadar Pro.

For HIPAA-Covered Entities, this means continued operation on on a Windows Server 2003 could result in a non-compliance situation, according to Nelson Gomes, president and CEO of PriorityOne Group. In an interview with Becker’s ASC’s Laura Dyrda, Gomes said, “An ASC using Windows Server 2003 to store PHI after July 14 could effectively become non-compliant with HIPAA and the HITECH Act. More importantly, the servers running Windows 2003 become a major security risk.”

By migrating to Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft Azure, or Office 365, providers currently operating on Windows Server 2003 can mitigate their security risk as well as improve performance, reduce maintenance requirements, and increase agility and speed of response to their business, according to Microsoft.

If you currently are operating on Windows Server 2003 or any earlier versions, contact your IT department or contractor today to make plans to upgrade before the July 14, 2015, deadline. For more information about Windows Server 2003, review the Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet.

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Charity Singleton Craig

Charity Singleton Craig is a freelance writer and editor who provides communications and marketing services for CIPROMS. She is responsible for creating, editing, and managing all content, design, and interaction on the company website and social media channels in order to promote CIPROMS as a thought leader in healthcare billing and management.

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