Windows XP: Rest In XPeace

graphic - RIP Windows XP

Windows XP: Rest In XPeace

What’s wrong with Windows XP anyway?

(by Ben Baker)

Microsoft ended support for its Windows XP operating system on 8th April 2014. The ground-breaking system had been in use since 2001 and was loved by many business users. However, Microsoft needed to consolidate efforts on its newer Windows 7 and Windows 10 products and pulled the plug that day on support for XP.

graphic - RIP Windows XP

R.I.P. Windows XP

So, why can’t I keep using XP?

There are many reasons why you need to move away from Windows XP. The most pressing is that it can no longer be considered ‘secure’ as Microsoft stopped issuing security-related updates on that day,  and other related security updates within the following year. That also means that any system based on Windows XP probably can’t be considered secure, and therefore it is non-compliant with GDPR and other Data Protection regulations.

Data security for any organisation that handles personal details should be considered a top priority. For organisations that also handle medical records, this is even more important, and the Information Commissioner is likely to be very unsympathetic towards any practices that fail to take all necessary precautions to prevent a breach. And that includes having up to date software and up to date computer infrastructure. Computers running Windows XP that connect to the internet (which is most of them) are particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks, and that means any patient personal, payment and medical records are potentially exposed to criminals. GDPR makes it clear that it is the responsibility of the practice to ensure security, so updating the operating system and the application software to an up-to-date and properly supported replacement is strongly recommended.

Another pressing reason is that software developers have moved away from Windows XP for the obvious reasons that there is no technical support and it is not secure. This makes it very difficult to update your application software; for example, the latest version of Pearl Dental Software does not work on Windows XP.

Likewise, you will find that imaging systems, CEREC systems and software that supports other peripheral developments in your practice won’t work with Windows XP; so if you update your OPG system, for example, you will hit problems integrating the software that manages its images with your other systems.

What can I do?

The time has come to upgrade your operating system. And given that hardware running Windows XP is probably more than four-years-old, it’s likely to be time to update your server and desktop computers too.

And while that may require a significant capital investment, there are also benefits.

Ben Baker

Ben Baker – MD of BHA Software Ltd

Most obviously, you can run the latest applications and peripheral systems, and integrate them together more easily. This, in turn, means that you can take advantage of new developments, such as cloud computing, to increase data security while also making it easier to consolidate data across multiple practices and locations. For multi-site businesses, cloud computing might even reduce your capital investment in servers and networking.

Replacing Windows XP systems with computers running Windows 7 or the latest version of Windows 10 will mean that staff joining the practice are more likely to be familiar with the look and feel of your computers as they will have used similar systems elsewhere. This can significantly increase their confidence in learning your systems and thus reduce training time.

More than anything else, updating your systems to Windows 7 or Windows 10 will help you in your efforts to stay GDPR compliant by providing a secure platform.

For more information about upgrading to Windows 7 or Windows 10, and what you need to do to become ready for the latest version of Pearl Dental Software, please email or Call Us on 0116 275 9995. We’ll be happy to help.

Ben Baker