It goes without saying that the pandemic has created many new challenges for the healthcare industry, but it’s also exacerbated many other ongoing issues, like data backup and protection. That’s where data backup and recovery comes into play.
Healthcare organisations need the right backup and recovery solution in place in order to keep data protected and to ensure that no data loss occurs. This article will show healthcare organisations what they need to do to achieve that.
A disaster recovery plan is now a must-have
Disasters can strike at any time and in a variety of ways. Think natural disasters, human errors, power outages, the global pandemic of last year, and — last but not least — cyberattacks.
The best way to deal with such scenarios is to have a backup and disaster recovery plan set in place before they even occur. Healthcare organisations in particular must ensure their data is backed up safely and securely, and that it can be recovered and accessed quickly so that operations can continue. After all, in the health sector, time is critical, due to accessing patients’ info and treating them quickly, etc.
The healthcare industry has typically been vulnerable to cyberattacks, but since the start of the pandemic, this problem has grown at an alarming rate. Common cyberattacks include shutting down the IT network, removing access to electronic health records, and, more recently, stealing Covid-19 test results. They have devastating consequences, from financial losses, organisational disarray, loss of reputation, and — most importantly — greater health risks for patients.
According to VMware Carbon Black, 239.4 million attempted cyberattacks targeted healthcare customers in 2020. 58% of these attempted attacks were executed using the ransomware family Cerber, followed by other tools like Sodinokibi and VBCrypt.
With this in mind, data backup and recovery in healthcare is no longer a “nice to have” but an urgent necessity. Healthcare organisations need to strengthen their cybersecurity and ensure their electronic health records and other data can be recovered, because cybercriminals are not going to stop targeting them any time soon.
A disaster recovery plan makes disaster recovery smoother
In the event of data loss, healthcare facilities need to be able to restore lost or stolen data and resume their operations as quickly as possible. Fortunately, this can be done with the right cloud backup solution.
When you have a disaster recovery plan set in place ahead of time, your organisation will bounce back from any disaster with prompt data recovery. Investing in the right cloud disaster recovery software is a great first step. This will ensure the productivity of employees is maintained and patients receive the diagnostics and treatment they need.
You should backup your data with the Data Protection Act in mind
When it comes to data backup and recovery in healthcare, compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018 is vital — here’s why.
The DPA governs how personal data is used by businesses and organisations to ensure it is:
- Used fairly, lawfully, and transparently
- Accurate and up-to-date
- Used only for explicitly stated purposes
- Handled in a secure manner
- Not kept for longer than necessary
Since healthcare organisations keep large amounts of personal data relating to patients — many of which are sensitive. Failure to comply with the standards laid out by the Data Protection Act can result in substantial fines and a damaged reputation. That is why your cloud backup and data recovery solution must comply with these standards, otherwise you may have to pay fines in the event of a data breach, regardless of whether you manage to recover that data or not.
Trusts must be able to share data safely
Healthcare trusts need to share health data with each other, so data security can make the difference between life and death. But building a robust and secure IT infrastructure from scratch is hard and expensive, so the more cost-effective option is to turn to a managed IT service provider that can ensure data security and recoverability, 24/7 support, and scalability.
Additionally, having health data stored on the cloud means that all health workers can access it, especially those who are working remotely.
Ensure operations continue easily and efficiently
Health organisations can’t afford to lose time when patients need to be quickly diagnosed and treated. Data theft or loss can result in increased patient fatalities, so having backups that can be recovered quickly and efficiently is essential to providing timely care to patients. This way, operations will continue after your organisation is struck by a cyberattack — or any other disaster.
Another critical factor to consider here is how easily employees can use a data backup and recovery solution to verify the state of the backups at any time. Medical data is constantly growing at a fast pace, so backups must be updated regularly. After all, what good is the backed up data if it’s obsolete?
Luckily, the right solution can perform a routine backup procedure in just 5 minutes — in comparison, it could take up to 40 hours per week with the wrong solution. This saves employees a tremendous amount of time they can then dedicate to their core responsibilities.
Find the right solution for your healthcare organisation
In a time where cyberattacks are on the rise, data backup and recovery in healthcare is crucial to providing timely care for patients keeping the organisation going.
Investing in the right data backup and recovery solution will protect your organisation from hampered productivity, severe losses, damaged reputation, and endangered patient health. To achieve this, your solution must comply with the Data Protection Act, ensure efficient data backup, and be easy to use.
If you need a solution that backs up, protects, and recovers data when a disaster strikes, we can help. We understand the importance of data backup and recovery in healthcare and will help you implement the right backup solution for your organisation’s needs. Get in touch to learn more.