Business IT backups are not a sexy topic and one that most people avoid thinking too much about. The trouble is that bad things happen to good businesses. How a business bounces back after disaster depends on how effectively they have thought through potential disasters … and put strategies in place to reduce the risks, like Backup.
Here are a few common risks that affect practices. Any one of them can close down or seriously impact your business.
- Someone clicks on a rogue link in an email, and every computer in the practice is instantly locked and encrypted.
- You have a storm. Lightning strikes just outside the practice, which causes a power surge that blows up all the computers (and the server).
- The store next door to your practice catches fire. Your practice is caught up in the fire and suffers fire, smoke and water damage.
- One of the doctors leaves their laptop (unsecured by passwords or with automatic saved logins) on the roof of their car by mistake, and all the patient records and practice details are taken and sold on the black market.
- One of the doctors is catching up on paperwork at home. One of their kids borrows the practice laptop for a second, visits a website and the computer is filled with malware and viruses that then race through all the computers in the practice once it’s connected to the network again or when they remotely connect into the practice.
- You update a plugin on your practice website and your whole website disappears.
- A user accidentally deletes a key file off your server and breaks your Practice Management Software.
These are all totally feasible, everyday occurrences. What would your practice do in each of these cases? How quickly could you get back up and running?
The answer depends on the quality of your backups. A backup is only useful if it is recent, thorough and can actually be restored.
Unfortunately, we hear of too many businesses who go through the motions of running backups only to find when needed, that the backups are corrupt or haven’t been working for months. This is worse than no protection at all!
What should you backup?
Every practice is different, but these are some of the essentials to consider:
- Your entire server, including Server operating system and files (Called an Image)
- Practice and Clinical Management Software – note some applications have their own proprietary backup system that needs to be run in conjunction with your overall practice backup.
- Pathology, Radiology and Electronic Encryption Software i.e. Medical Objects, HealthLink etc.
- eHealth applications including eRx, online appointments
- ECG, Spiro, ABI etc software and their configurations.
- PKI files including Site and NASH certificates
- Scanned Documents
- Practice Management Documents, Letters & Files
- Financial Applications and Files
- Desktop computers if possible
- Hardware configurations like your network switch, firewall and phone system.
Obviously if you are using a cloud system your backup will be different and for those using cloud, however your network equipment and website are still pivotal to the practice.
Your key backup data to check is:
- Practice and Clinical Management Software backup
- Pathology, Radiology and Electronic Encryption Software and Configuration
- What the restoration process is and how long does it take.
Did you know that ransomware is targeting cloud file sharing services like Dropbox, Google drive and OneDrive particularly if you are synchronising them to your desktop so it is worth looking at backups of these systems as well.
What should you look for in a good backup?
Every good back-up should:
- Be regular.
- Be automated & systematised (meaning no-one in the practice needs to think about doing it).
- Back-up all crucial data.
- Be stored off-site (or at a minimum not in the same place as the original).
- Storage should be within Australia to comply with Privacy Laws or at least make compliance with the privacy laws simple.
- Be regularly monitored and tested to make sure it is working.
- Make it easy and fast to restore information.
We use and recommend a 2 phase backup using StorageCraft ShadowProtect, along with an internal backup for fast restoration and cloud storage for offsite backup in the event of a disaster. This means that a complete and total mirror of your server is stored in an Australian Data Centre, ready if needed.
What should you do in case of a disaster?
If you are one of our clients when disaster strikes, then simply call the office on 1300 88 12 14 and we will take care of it for you.
If you are experiencing a disaster and need help call us RIGHT NOW on 1300 88 12 14 – even afterhours.
We can’t stop disasters in life. All we can do is help you bounce back from them with as minimal agony and stress as possible.