Do you have computers in your business operating on Windows 7? Do you feel like you just upgraded away from Windows XP? If that’s the case, you were most likely utilizing Windows XP beyond its April 8, 2014 end of life date and managed just fine without upgrading immediately. So, it makes sense that you are probably not too concerned about upgrading away from Windows 7 any time soon. You survived the last end of life date just fine, and you’ll get through this one too, right? Wrong.
The short answer, it depends. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is about more than just the tools you use, but how you use them. While some applications may never be HIPAA compliant, others that offer compliant features can still get you in trouble if your equipment is not physically secure, or if your employees are not trained to use the tools in a compliant way (i.e. walking away from a workstation without signing off or sharing passwords). At a minimum, HIPAA compliance requires you use the Pro version of windows, as Home versions do not offer the functionality required for HIPAA compliance. Additionally, your operating system must be currently supported by the software vendor. Any version of Windows prior to Windows 7 is not compliant, and Windows 7 will not be compliant after the Windows 7 end-of-life date on January 14, 2020. This article focuses on Windows 10 because other versions have reached or will soon reach end-of-life.
As technology advances so do the software needed to make it run efficiently. At the beginning of the year, Microsoft published a reminder that Windows 7 will lose support on January 14, 2020. If you're wondering how this affects you and your business, here are some things to consider.