Discover the most common and growing threats to your practice data and what you can do about it.
There are many threats to your practice data, coming from natural, accidental, and intentional sources. While the prospect of hacking, theft, a flood, or fire are all strong and valid motivators for dental practitioners to back up their practice’s valuable data, the reality is some dangers are more probable than others. Let’s look at two: the most common and the fastest growing.
Employees can be the number one threat to data security. Often, your staff’s experience with technology is limited. Recognize any of the following problems? When your staff gets busy, manual backups can sometimes slip through the cracks. Sometimes data even gets deleted unintentionally. According to a 2016 survey by IT PRO, accidental deletion– not a catastrophic event–was the number one cause of data loss in an enterprise environment.
Do your staff use the Internet, or send and receive emails? Do they sometimes download to their workstation? Without proper precautions, these otherwise normal activities can be risky. Increasingly, dental practices are falling victim to ransomware viruses that “lock” files on local desktops and servers and make them unavailable until a ransom is paid. This is a serious threat that doesn’t discriminate between big and small organizations. More than $200 million in ransomware payments were made in the first three months of 2016 in the US alone.
Read “The Risks of Not Staying On Top of Your IT” for more insight into avoiding problems with ransomware.
What Can I Do?
The first step toward protecting yourself is to set up a reliable, modern backup method. Traditional single backup methods aren’t enough. With traditional backup methodologies, such as multi-disk manual backup, online only backup, portable hard drives, tape backups, etc., mitigating either of the above situations is difficult, cumbersome, or may require a computer science expert. Cloud-based backup and data recovery tools have matured and will continue to improve, making it easier to protect your data and recover any version of data from anywhere at any time. However, cloud-based storage is not enough.
Fortunately, there are new approaches to data backup and recovery. If you’re looking for the best next-generation backup strategy, consider a hybrid backup service.
Hybrid Backup Services Deliver On-Site Performance and Off-Site Assurance
A hybrid strategy provides a combination of cloud data backup and storage with local backup. What makes this a good strategy?
- Redundancy: When both cloud and local backup are working together, coordinating your data backup, you are ensuring that you can recover specific files, versions of those files, or, in the case of a ransomware attack, fully restore your data set to a time before Cryptolocker was introduced.
- Disaster Recovery: Theft, flood, fire, earthquake, and coffee spills have all created some nasty, hard-to-recover-from disasters as each potentially causes full loss of a server and related backup mediums. With a hybrid solution, you have a fully reliant strategy to recover as much as possible, as quickly as possible, and mitigate what might otherwise be complete disaster.
- Real-Time / In-Time File Access: The local side of hybrid backup provides access at file-level granularity from any Internet-connected device, providing access without the burden of an extensive or complex restoration process. The cloud side of hybrid allows your dental practice to retain an unlimited number of point-in-time data snapshots, allowing you to go back weeks or perhaps years to recover important data.
A hybrid local/cloud solution can help you provide better protection against accidental data deletion, ransomware, and other disasters. Because there are many backup services on the market, it’s important that you fully research your options. Henry Schein TechCentral can help you choose the best service for your practice.
For more information about TechCentral Protected Practice Solutions, visit www.henryscheintechcentral.com or contact TechCentral today at 877.483.0382.
Schedule a free 30-minute technology assessment to understand the comprehensive technology needs of your practice at www.hstechcentral.com/freeassessment.
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By Tom Hanks, Product Manager, Henry Schein TechCentral
Originally published in Dentrix Magazine, Fall 2016