bug-162019_640Microsoft has extended malware protection for Windows XP systems through July 14, 2015. But this does not mean that using Windows XP after April 8, 2014, is a smart thing to do.

According to Microsoft, “To help organizations complete their migrations, Microsoft will continue to provide updates to our antimalware signatures and engine for Windows XP users through July 14, 2015.”

CRN says that after April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, nonsecurity hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options and online technical content updates. The only support, Microsoft said, will be antimalware updates.

Microsoft antimalware support is extended to enterprise Windows XP customers running System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Client Security, Forefront Endpoint Protection and Windows Intune. XP antimalware support for consumers is extended to users running Microsoft Security Essentials.

Michael Goldstein, president and CEO of LAN Infotech, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Microsoft channel partner, told CRN that the move may give the 35 percent of his customer base still running Windows XP a false sense of security, giving them a reason to delay migrating off Windows XP.

Goldstein says, “I’d be happier if they stuck to their guns with the deadline. In reality, XP users are going to have to move off (XP). Extending antimalware updates only solves a piece of the security puzzle. After April, XP customers were going to be 100 percent vulnerable; now they will be 80 percent exposed to security risks.”

My advice is to continue with plans to replace your Windows XP computers because they will still be a major risk to protecting patient information after April 8. The HIPAA enforcers will probably take a dim view of data breaches caused by Windows XP systems and fines could far exceed the costs of replacing old computers.

"originally written for 4MedApproved"