Sometimes, you wait for the other shoe to fall, and sometimes the shoe is on the other foot! As I sat with a Doctor that I meet with on a regular – personal basis, it became quite clear to me that I should be the person leading the conversation this time. We talked about blood pressure, work, daily routine, my dogs, weight, how long my beard had gotten, and when it came my time to speak with him, he gave me a puzzled look as I informed him that he “only had about 10 weeks left.”
Surprised, Dr. Jennings looked at me and asked “I only have 10 weeks?” – That was his reaction to my scoffing “After all this time, I would have suspected you’d be first, but you only have 10 weeks left, the diagnosis is terminal.” I was making reference to his use of Windows 7 on his exam room PC. I quickly said, what version of Windows is on that laptop, and sadly he reported back… “Windows 7 Professional.”
I of course asked, “Who’s your IT Person? Do you outsource?” Their practice had an “in-house guy” who worked with another local MSP here in Richmond. Unaware of Windows 7 going End of Life in January we spoke for a good 15 minutes on why his current MSP or IT guy hadn’t kept them up to date even though the practice was flourishing? He nor his partner had any idea and it looked like he was facing a big end-of-year spend to get over the hurdle of the madness.
If you work in medical, medical billing, coding, pharmaceuticals, etc. You must maintain within a certain window for HIPAA compliance. – The HIPAA Security Rule requires that all Covered Entities or Business Associates use software that is supported by the vendor. If the software is no longer supported, it is not HIPAA compliant. On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will retire support for Windows 7, one of its most popular operating systems.
He was even more shocked when I told him how much it could potentially cost to upgrade or replace his 21 machines in just 10 weeks, and right around the Holidays when they would be hit with the cold/flu season, vacation, and everyone’s mind being at home with their families. He not only felt lost, but upset, and uninformed. He asked – “is that what you do for a living?!?”
Working with many medical facilities from my office, I took the next few minutes to inform him the proper route to take with his partners; what to do, what to replace first, and how to react to the situation in such a short time with his in-house guy as well as his outsourced MSP partner. We talked about due diligence, specs to look for, and ways to keep this from happening again. Of course, I plugged Bastionpoint Technology but being so connected to many medical professionals on Linkedin, as well as other SMB’s I figured I would share my story here as well.
It’s critical to get on Windows 10 or make an action plan to start in that direction sooner than later. What happens to Windows 7 when it goes end of life? Nothing immediately, the operating system will continue to work or not, as it did or didn’t, for each user the day before support retirement. That’s important to remember, if only because some still don’t — assuming that after midnight on Jan. 14, 2020, the OS screeches to a stop.
You may not see an issue for the first week, or the first month, but it is being said that would-be hackers “bank on” an estimated 42% of SMB’s will not upgrade to Windows 10, and in a few months you can bet there will be exploits that go unpatched on Windows 7 and that is where all of your problems can begin to happen. It’s more than just a virus, it could be crypto or ransomware or you leak a person’s medical information or identifying information and at that time, you should hope that you have a cybersecurity plan as well as an insurance policy in place to take care of the fallout.
After my normal 20-minute appointment turned into close to an hour, he joked about how he hated giving bad news, and I had just given him enough to last a few years. I told him the biggest disservice was that he was misinformed but now he had the opportunity to get a plan in place.
So, now I ask….. What’s your plan? I’d be happy to help you with it!
I provide CIO and IT Support Services alongside a mid-sized technical support team of engineers for business. Bastionpoint Technology is a managed service provider for businesses ranging from 1-500 users! We specialize in Legal, Medical, and Professional services, but support so much more. Retail, Finance, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Non-Profits, and you’ve certainly heard of our clients. We offer unlimited on-demand services, with an on-demand price point to meet every client’s needs. Just call on us – we put your business first!