The recent outbreak of healthcare cyber attacks has led Microsoft to release a patch for their outdated operating systems (OSes). Although Microsoft usually does not issue patches for its legacy operating systems, it has become clear that recent cyber attacks exploited vulnerabilities in old systems to gain unauthorized access to organizations’ networks. Patches bolster the security for systems operating in Windows 2003, Windows 7, Server 2008, and Windows XP.
This is good news for healthcare organizations as many medical devices still rely heavily on old systems. The legacy OSes had a vulnerability in their Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) that allowed hackers to access devices without authorization. RDP allows one computer to connect to another computer interface over a network connection. Developed by Microsoft to enable network administrators to remotely diagnose and resolve issues, a vulnerability to RDP poses a serious threat to organizations that work with sensitive information.
Dustin Childs, a researcher with TrendMicro’s Zero Day Initiative wrote in a statement, “Microsoft considers this so severe, they are even making patches available for out-of-support OSes like Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. That’s no excuse to not upgrade to a supported OS, but regardless, go install that patch.”
Upgrading to Windows 10 Pro Secures Data When Healthcare Cyber Attacks Occur
The healthcare industry must be vigilant in their protection of patient information. Protected health information (PHI) is increasingly at risk. Healthcare cyber attacks have increased in frequency over the past few years, with 32 million patients affected by healthcare cyber attacks so far this year, up from 15 million patients for all of 2018. It is more important than ever that healthcare organizations do everything in their power to safeguard the sensitive information patients trust them with.
Upgrading to the newest OS will facilitate in mitigating the damage of healthcare cyber attacks. It is therefore recommended that healthcare organizations upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. Not only does the operating system have support for future security vulnerabilities, it has a tool built-in called Bitlocker which allows organizations to encrypt their hard drives. An encrypted hard drive doesn’t prevent unauthorized access to a system, it does however ensure that in the event of a healthcare cyber attack files will be unreadable.
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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.
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