Windows 7 is about to put a big hole in clinic defenses

Microsoft is ending support for Windows 7 as of January 14, 2020. That means the operating system won’t receive software updates, security patches, or technical support. Any vulnerabilities that arise will not be fixed. So when cybercriminals discover ways into your clinic network through Windows 7, Microsoft won’t be doing anything to stop them.

To protect your practice, upgrade off of Windows 7 before January 14, 2020.

The recommendation from Microsoft is to upgrade to Windows 10

Of course, that is not your only option. MakeUseOf, an online publication that “that issues tips and guides on how to make the most of the internet, computer software, and mobile apps”, suggests 4 ways to solve the problem.

In this article, the site explains that upgrading the operating system on your existing computers is one option while buying new computers with an upgraded software already installed is another. A third option (although not recommended, is to upgrade to Windows 8.1. Windows 8.1 is scheduled for the end of support in 2023, so you’d only buy a little bit of time. This older operating system already isn’t receiving feature updates and Windows 10 offers an improved user experience. 

The last option to save your clinic from the risk of continued use of Windows 7 is to switch to another platform such as Mac, or a Chromebook. A Chromebook is good for light usage and smaller budgets. Many clinics have already made the switch to Mac for ease of use and typically reduced maintenance. If you’re already considering buying new computers, it’s worth considering switching systems altogether.