Back to Basics – Why Senior Care Needs Modern Business Continuity and Data Recovery

Senior Care ServicesTechnology

Ransomware occurs when hackers hold a company’s data hostage, and it’s on the rise. Do you know why it ‘s so effective? Because even in 2019, many companies don’t have an adequate business continuity and data recovery (BCDR) plan in place. That means disruptions in operations caused by a cyber attack will most likely be successful, leaving many organizations scrambling to re-gain access to their data.

Of course, not all threats to data come from cyber crime. Human error, deliberate acts of sabotage, as well as extreme weather events and disasters can cost you access to online operations and data. We’ve all seen reports in the past few years about natural disasters causing chaos at a number of senior care communities.

Long story short, a lot can go wrong and stop your organization in its tracks, leaving you without access to email, productivity tools, documents, and most importantly, critical resident information including medication data.

Why is Healthcare a Cyber Crime Target?

There is no doubt that healthcare organizations are a target for malicious activity. The extensive personal data stored by senior care and other health organizations is attractive to cyber criminals. According to our BCDR partner Datto’s recently released 2019 State of Ransomware report, Managed Service Providers (MSPs – like Fully Managed) rank healthcare in the top three cybercrime target industries.

As recently as September we heard about the ransomware attack at a Wyoming-based health organization that included a long-term care facility. The attack affected all 1,500 computers, disrupted service provision, and forced the use of paper charts instead of electronic health records. What’s more troubling? The attack occurred on a Friday morning and by Tuesday, systems and services were still disrupted.

No organization should have to go without access to critical data for that long, especially in healthcare. Modern business continuity solutions are designed to allow business activities to continue with minimal disruption.

The Ransomware Risk

More interesting facts from Datto’s Ransomware report:

  • MSPs say phishing emails are the leading cause of successful attacks (targeting individual users with misleading emails/clickbait.) Lack of cybersecurity training, weak passwords, and poor user practices are among the other top causes.
  • 28% of MSPs report ransomware attacks in SaaS applications like Office 365, G Suite and Dropbox
  • IoT (Internet of Things) tops the list of future ransomware attack targets (in healthcare think wearables, sensors, connected medical devices) Many of these devices aren’t designed with security in mind, and cyber attackers will find ways to exploit this vulnerability.
  • 92% of MSPs report that clients with BCDR products in place are less likely to experience significant downtime from ransomware. In fact, with BCDR, 4 in 5 MSPs report clients fully recovered in 24 hours or less.

Be Prepared: IT Basics for Senior Care Communities

Having the right BCDR solution in place is part of what we like to call getting Back to Basics for senior care communities. It’s right up there with making sure your IT infrastructure/network is adequate for your needs and ensuring you have the best multi-layered security protocols in place.

If your senior care organization does not have a well-defined incident recovery plan outlining how your team will operate in the event of disaster, you are putting your operations, your processes, and resident safety at risk.