Don’t put your practice at risk of cyberattacks by continuing to run outdated hardware or software.
Your server is the backbone of your dental office’s network, housing critical information like financial records and patient health information (PHI). So you should know that after January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer support Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, and it’s also discontinuing support for the Windows 7 operating system (OS).
How does this affect you? Continuing to run hardware or software when Microsoft stops releasing updates puts your practice at risk.
Protecting Against Cyberattacks
Microsoft notes that it’s important to update the OS on your workstations and server before next January because, as Microsoft says, as “cyberattacks become more sophisticated and frequent, running apps and data on unsupported versions can create significant security and compliance risks.”
Many IT experts recommend updating your hardware when migrating Windows to a new platform because existing hardware is typically outdated, inadequate and increasingly subject to hardware failure. Workstation and server hard drives have many components, making them some of the most likely points of failure. It’s important for you to understand that when you use outdated hardware, you run the risk of losing all your practice data, including patient and financial records in the event of hardware failure.
If your practice continues to use Windows 7 or Windows 2008, they won’t suddenly stop working on January 15, but as Microsoft notes, “once support ends, your PC will become more vulnerable to security risks.” Additionally, if you continue to run either of these operating systems, new software applications and hardware devices may not be compatible.
Upgrading to the latest supported version of Windows is the recommended solution, but be aware that the latest Windows version will probably struggle to run on old hardware.
Getting out of the Constant Upgrade Cycle
Microsoft says that “the upcoming end-of-support milestone is a great opportunity to transform your applications and infrastructure.” But this won’t be the last time they expect you to “transform” your IT infrastructure or discontinue support on their product. With a dizzying amount of information out there, how do you, as a dentist, know how to keep up? And how can you be expected to take on the expense of replacing several pieces of your office information technology (IT) every few years?
Is it possible to get out of this cycle of staying on top of technology refreshes? I’m here to tell you that it is, when you partner with an IT provider who offers “hardware as a service.” This means that rather than incur the cost and frustration of purchasing and supporting your own networking hardware, you simply pay a monthly fee for a trusted IT provider to install, maintain and monitor your dental office network.
TechCentral, by Henry Schein One, now offers Omnicore™, an all-in-one network infrastructure solution that provides all essential hardware and services needed to run your dental practice. No more building your network from à la carte IT equipment and services. With this solution, TechCentral truly takes the IT stress out of dentistry so you can focus your attention on the expert dental care you provide.
Omnicore helps relieve dentists’ IT financial burden as well, because all support, product management, equipment upgrades and even the replacement of failed hardware is included in one easy-to-budget monthly amount.
This single decision can make life easier for the entire life of your practice because you’re handing your IT burden over to a trusted partner, just like you do with many other business or electronic services.
TechCentral will keep your network current now and in the future because they are a one-stop IT partner for dentists able to take care of any network needs, from upgrading your OS, to replacing old workstations and software, to setting up IT equipment and remotely monitoring it.
Partner With an Expert
Don’t rely on the local computer guy who may not know anything about the unique needs of the dental industry when you can depend on TechCentral, a trusted IT organization with proven solutions designed specifically for dentists.
The technology professionals at TechCentral offer a free technology assessment to help identify vulnerabilities in your practice, so you can get the IT solutions that are right for your current and future needs.
For more information about TechCentral or to schedule your free technology assessment, visit http://www.hstechcentral.com/.
Certain components of the products or services described above are provided by third parties. Henry Schein One and its affiliates are not responsible for, and expressly disclaim, all liability for damages of any kind arising out of the use of those third party products or services.
By Donovan Gregg, TechCentral Product Manager
Originally published in the Dentrix eNewsletter, February 2019