All operating systems issue security patches and updates. It is the responsibility of the IT team to schedule the timely application of these patches to protect patient health information (PHI) from external threats. PHI security has been the top issue for healthcare CIOs for the past three years.
Staying up to date with security patches and operating system updates also helps organizations avoid HIPAA violations. These issues make it more critical than ever for IT personnel to routinely apply security patches for all operating systems.
Both Windows and the leading UNIX systems typically require many critically important patches each year. Here are some recent statistics on the number of patches issued:
- SUSE Linux (2017 stats): 5 Critical, 528 Important, 312 involving Linux Kernel
- Red Hat Linux security patches (2017 stats): 49 Critical, 184 Important
- IBM AIX 7.2 (APR stats): 51 APARs, 4 install packages
- Windows Server (2016): 50+ for each version
Related: Healthcare taking notice that Microsoft scalability is key for growing demands for health data
The goal is to keep servers secure with OS patches while keeping the interface engine active. According to ITIC’s latest Global Server Hardware and Server OS Reliability Survey (2013), Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008 reduced its annual unplanned downtime to an average of 13.2 minutes, the lowest level ever reported for the OS. That gives Windows OS virtually identical downtime statistics as its main competitors – IBM’s AIX, Canonical Ltd.’s Ubuntu, and Red Hat Enterprise.
The emphasis should be on the programs running on the platforms, not the platforms themselves. Linux has been traditionally viewed as more stable with less downtime. Windows-based IT solutions, on the other hand, have been perceived to suffer from performance issues and require too many patches.
However, since the release of Microsoft Windows Server 2008, large industry operating system preferences have begun to move away from Linux. Lower prices, better performance, and a larger pool of qualified professionals are just a few reasons cited for Windows’ emergence.
Corepoint Integration Engine makes staying up to date with patches easy, with little-to-no downtime. Now you can exchange data and improve care with healthcare’s top-rated integration engine.