IT Disaster Recovery: Electronic Medical Records Held for Ransom

Healthcare IT
IT disaster recovery planning in healthcare

The idea that electronic medical records are stored with military-grade encryption as part of medical IT disaster recovery ought to be a source of comfort to the people to whom they belong. However, it isn’t as reassuring when hackers are doing the encryption.

A few weeks ago, Russian hackers breeched Miami Family Medical Centre in Queensland, Australia’s network, encrypted all of its patients’ electronic medical records, and demanded $4,000 (AUD) to provide a key. Fortunately, the medical office has been doing daily backups to tape and has an external drive backup offsite as part of its IT disaster recovery plan.  The owners of the clinic chose to contact the police, and the blackmail attempt eventually became news across Australia.

Stories about the hacking noted that 11 other companies had reported similar attacks to the Queensland police (1). The relatively low ransom demand may mean that the hackers are planning many similar attacks and want to set ransoms so low that businesses have strong incentive to pay.

Restoring Mission Critical IT Systems in a Disaster

Critical IT system outages happen more frequently than many suppose. In a recent Kaseya webinar, 5 Reasons Disaster Recovery Plans Fail and How to Fix Yours, our Product Marketing Manager Ray Barber asked attendees this question related to IT disaster recovery:

How recently have you suffered the loss of an IT system that required new hardware and/or rebuild?

  • Less than 6 months: 30.6%
  • 6 to 12 months: 16.7%.
  • 12-24 months 22.2%
  • More than 24 months 30.6%

The Kaseya System Back Up and Restore (KSBR) module is an OEM integration of Storage Craft’s Shadow Protect product that gives IT professionals the capability to remotely restore complete systems, OS, applications, settings, configurations—within minutes.

Whether the next disaster you confront is created by a group of Russian hackers bent on extortion, hardware failure, software corruption, employee error, or a once-in-a-century hurricane, make sure you’re ready with an image-based system backup as part of your overall IT disaster recovery plan.

Try the new System Backup and Restore tool today.

(1) “Clinic Hacked by Russian Cyber Criminals.” The Australian. The Australian, 10 Dec. 2012.

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