Why Your Healthcare Organization Needs a Proper Disaster Recovery Plan

MARCH 21ST, 2019
From eCommerce to education, a disaster recovery plan is essential to the survival of any business that stores any amount of data. And it doesn't matter if you store two gigabytes of data or two terabytes. That said, there are some companies and industries that are more vulnerable to disruption and downtime than others. One sector that needs to place emphasis on data security and backups is the healthcare industry.
Healthcare providers, like hospitals and general practitioners, house some of the most sensitive data out there. Patient files, medical research, and more is all information that could be very useful to hackers if a breach occurs. Plus, losing essential data when a natural disaster strikes is detrimental to the health of patients. It can be a major setback to the research behind causes and cures, too.

Real-world Examples

According to a 2017 survey performed by Accenture, 1 in 4 U.S. consumers has had their healthcare data stolen. Of those breaches, 50% of them resulted in identity theft. Patients need to be able to trust that their healthcare data is in good hands. This is where proper data security comes in. But what about backups? They come in handy when cyberattacks, like ransomware, occur. Take the 2017 WannaCry attack, for example. It seriously crippled Britain’s National Health Service by holding patient data for ransom. The attack caused the cancellations of more than 19,000 appointments and over £92 million in damages in a week. Companies can mitigate or thwart cybersecurity issues, like WannaCry, with easily recoverable data backups, though. If the NHS had had up-to-date recovery solutions in place, they could've kept many of those patient appointments and saved money on damages, too.

Protect Data to Comply with HIPAA

If fear of a breach doesn’t encourage healthcare providers to devise a disaster recovery strategy, the US developed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to keep these organizations in check. Any entity providing healthcare treatment, payment, or operations is bound to follow the specifics outlined in HIPAA, an act that enforces strict policies for data security and privacy. It also encourages and demands contingency plans in case hackers breach patient data. Americans aren’t the only ones with an initiative on protecting healthcare data. Europeans have the EU Directive on Data Protection, and Canadians have Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) to protect their healthcare data.You can read up on all the US policies on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website.

One of Today’s Best Backup Tools

The cloud is more than just hype. It’s one of the best methods around to host backups and facilitate recovery. For one, it’s portable and accessible with the ability to produce and recover backups from anywhere on a variety of devices. But it’s also incredibly simple to keep safe and on lockdown, away from the hands of hackers. One huge benefit of cloud recovery is your ability to customize a cloud to fit your company’s data storage needs to a tee. Cloud services generally allow you the freedom to purchase storage as you go or scale out when you need more space as opposed to scaling up. As a result, this cuts down on the long-term costs. At StorageCraft, we believe in the power of the cloud. We believe in it so much, we offer our own disaster recovery cloud that clients use to house their data backups and replicas. Contact us today to learn more about how backups and proper recovery strategies can help safeguard the data stored by your healthcare business.