HIPAA Compliance and Windows XP

HIPAA Compliance and Windows XP

Upgrading your business to the newest operating system (OS) is important to maintaining your network security, especially when dealing with protected health information (PHI). HIPAA compliance and Windows XP are no longer synonymous. Organizations working in healthcare must upgrade to Windows 10 Pro to maintain HIPAA compliance. 

You may be wondering why HIPAA compliance and Windows XP use are an issue; you cannot use Windows XP and be HIPAA compliant. When Microsoft introduces a new OS, they no longer support old OSs with security patches. Security patches are an important part of maintaining HIPAA compliance as the inability to patch your OS leaves your organization’s network vulnerable to cyberattacks. Hackers exploit vulnerabilities in the old software, allowing them to gain access to your entire network, including any PHI your organization accesses, maintains, stores, or transmits.

Widespread Ransomware Attacks from Old Operating Systems

The lack of compliance in upgrading outdated systems has led to an outbreak of ransomware attacks in the healthcare industry. Ransomware attacks occur when an unauthorized party accesses your organization’s network, often encrypting or stealing sensitive files. Hackers then demand a sum of money for the return of files. 

The healthcare industry is a particularly appealing target for these types of attacks as many are using outdated systems such as Windows XP, specifically on medical devices. The difficulty of upgrading medical devices, leading to widespread ransomware attacks, has led Microsoft to release a rare patch for its legacy systems. 

However, healthcare organizations cannot count on this occurring again in the future. Failure to upgrade your organization to the newest operating system is a violation of the HIPAA Security Rule, as patches are unlikely to be available in the future.

Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for HIPAA Compliance

To keep your organization secure while maintaining HIPAA compliance, upgrading to Windows 10 Pro is a must! Windows 10 Pro is supported by security patches in line with the HIPAA Security Rule. In addition, a feature included with Windows 10 Pro is Bitlocker. Bitlocker encrypts your organization’s hard drive, preventing unauthorized access to PHI. 

Encryption converts sensitive data to a format that is unreadable without a decryption key. Although encryption does not prevent unauthorized access to your system, it does hide sensitive data ensuring that it cannot be read without the decryption key.

Do You Need Help with Cybersecurity?

Compliancy Group gives healthcare providers and vendors working in healthcare the tools to confidently address their HIPAA compliance in a simplified manner. Our cloud-based HIPAA compliance software, the GuardTM, gives healthcare professionals everything they need to demonstrate their “good faith effort” towards HIPAA compliance.

To address HIPAA cybersecurity requirements, Compliancy Group works with IT and Managed Service Provider (MSP) security partners from across the country, who can be contracted to handle your HIPAA cybersecurity protection.

Find out more about how Compliancy Group helps you simplify compliance and cybersecurity today!

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