End of Support for Windows Server 2003 Raises HIPAA Concerns

Remember when Microsoft finally said “farewell” to Windows XP last year, officially ending support for the venerable operating system and forcing many practices and companies to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8? Well, Microsoft is cleaning house again. This time they’re sending their oldest server operating system, Windows Server 2003, to the retirement home.

Every time a software company, particularly Microsoft, ends support for a product, it sends a wave of panic across small and large businesses using that product. By ending support for Windows Server 2003, Microsoft is essentially saying that it will no longer issue updates or security patches. Over time (but not much time), hackers, spyware, and malware expose and exploit vulnerabilities in the software. Without updates from Microsoft to stave off these exploits, your systems and data are at risk. Protecting PHI is huge HIPAA concern.

Any HIPAA-covered entity—that means providers like you—currently running Windows Server 2003 must upgrade on or before July 14, 2015, to a supported Windows Server operating system, to remain HIPAA compliant.

Check Your Servers

If your practice maintains an in-house server for (OfficeMate/ExamWRITER or AcuityLogic), you should consult your local IT professional to determine if you need to upgrade and, if so, make plans to upgrade to Windows Server 2008 or Server 2012 as soon as possible.

If your practice contracts a firm to host your server in the cloud, check their website or contact them to determine which server operating system your practice is using.

Determining Your Operating System

  1. Log onto the server.
  2. Click the Windows Start menu.
  3. Right-click Computer and select Properties.
    The General tab, System section lists your server operating system. If it says, Windows Server 2003, it’s time to upgrade.windows_pane

For information about software and hardware requirements, refer to our requirements pages:

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