Learn Why Solving the Data Security Challenge Is Crucial to the Healthcare Industry

I was approached by a healthcare professional who brought up the hot topic of ransomware and the impact it’s having in the healthcare industry. This individual is a healthcare consultant and is constantly dealing with Protected Health Information (PHI). This sparked a question from me - “What are you doing to protect yourself?” I asked. His reply was unfortunately less than stellar considering the effects that a cyberattack could have on their business and client’s data.

What are the challenges?

This professional works on-the-go and needs access to his data that contains PHI whether he’s at home, at the office, or on the go. There’s a single desktop computer in his home office, a laptop in his workplace, and a smaller travel laptop that he uses when out of the office. His solution was to place the sole copy of his work on a 2 terabyte encrypted external hard drive and then connect the external drive to whichever device he’s using at the moment. This ensured that he had every document he needed when working on any of the 3 devices.

As an IT professional working in the cloud backup and data protection space, I cringed at the “solution” that had been put into place and pointed out the key flaw in his plan. What happens if the external hard drive fails? This thought hadn’t crossed his mind and a pale look came over him. Luckily, he happened to be speaking with the right person at the right time, me.

How to solve the challenge?

In order to tailor the best solution, it was important to know exactly what he was needing.

  • Seamless access to his data across the three devices.
  • Access to data from another computer when the three devices were not available.
  • A safe, duplicate copy for disaster recovery.

Jungle Disk Workgroup offers great features that suited his needs; the Network Drive and Backup Vault. With Jungle Disk Workgroup’s Network Drive we were able to get a working copy of his documents in a single location in the cloud that’s accessible through a mapped drive. This worked well as this approach provided the same familiarity with his file system that he’s used to. This feature solved for two of his three needs.

After installing Jungle Disk Workgroup on each machine, he has seamless access to his data. In addition, the data within the Network Drive is also available via our web site and Android/iOS apps which provides him the ability to access his data even when his main devices aren’t available. Given that his data contained PHI, we encrypted his Network Drive through the administrative control panel giving the layer of protection that he needs to ensure Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance.

For the last need, “a safe, duplicate copy,” there was that key topic to revert back to which initially started our conversation, ransomware. Symantec’s “2016 Internet Security Threat Report,” published in April 2016, points out the emergence of crypto-ransomware. That same report also points out that “some ransomware now also threatens to publish the victim’s files online unless they pay―an interesting and sinister twist, which is likely to increase since the traditional advice of keeping effective backups, does not help in this scenario.” The beauty of Jungle Disk’s Backup Vault feature is that your data IS PROTECTED from this scenario. The Backup Vault’s block-level deduplication ensures that you’re able to revert back to previous versions for any file, including ones affected by crypto-ransomware. We set up an automatic backup of his Network Drive to the Backup Vault from his workplace laptop as this device never moves nor powers down.

Implementing Jungle Disk into his backup and storage strategy, assured that his data was redundantly and securely stored at all times. He also gained some additional features that he didn’t realize he would have access to including versioning and web/mobile access.

Moral of the story?

A well thought out backup and storage plan provides the appropriate safeguards to allow you to protect yourself from malware and bad actors without interrupting your workflow. Designing the appropriate plan for your business can be challenging and that’s where Jungle Disk comes into play. Reach out to one of our solution consultants and we can tailor a backup and storage plan that fits your business’ needs.

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To see the full “2016 Internet Security Threat Report,” from Symantec, go here.

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