Meeting the Data Protection Needs of the Healthcare Sector

Like any other business sector, healthcare institutions across the globe are also going through severe data protection challenges. In fact, the health sector is more sensitive and vulnerable to cybercriminals than other industries because any successfully executed attack will not only bring the health providers’ goodwill into the line of fire but also harm the physical and mental safety of the patients. The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent rapid digitalisation have worsened the data protection scenario even further, as most health-related operations and consultations are conducted online. 

Unauthorised individuals can trespass on hospital servers and get their hands on critical data, resulting in data theft and blackmailing the entire institution. Data loss will have a severe impact on the ability of medical practitioners to attend to the patients. The sensitive and confidential information regarding patients is often uploaded on the dark web, further tormenting their psychological health. In certain scenarios, patients even sue the hospitals over data breaches, costing millions of dollars to the health providers in the pursuit of the legal battle.

How Healthcare Organisations Can Better Protect Their Data

Considering how outages, data loss and delivery gaps can directly affect the quality of patient care, healthcare organisations must take proactive steps to protect all of their data, no matter where it resides. According tothe leader in backup, recovery and data management solutions, Veeam, they need a platform (like Veeam’s) that can deliver these essential capabilities that will allow them to do so:

Extensibility: Since hospital workloads are diverse in nature- physical, virtual or both- and often stored on-premises, in the cloud or in the hybrid environment, the protection model must be flexible enough to accommodate data through multiple manners, including backup and replication. Veeam makes it possible through its robust policy engine that stores data on Network Attached Storage (NAS), Direct Attached Storage (DAS), deduplication alliances and the cloud. In simple words, the Veeam data protection model can be deployed on any infrastructure to shield data from internal and external threats.

Automated Backup Verification: Without secure, integrated, and reliable backup, meaningful recovery is nearly impossible. Therefore, an effective and automatically verified backup is of paramount importance. And Veeam’s SureBackup is purely designed to address the data management concern of organisations, primarily those operating in the health sector since the lives of patients are also at stake. Organisations typically adhere to the 3-2-1 backup model (we hope), where three different copies of data are stored on two separate mediums, with one of them located in a remote setting. However, Veeam stresses that at least one copy of data should be air-gapped or immutable (unchangeable), providing an additional layer of support to the data protection mechanism through physical and network isolation of data.

Resilient or ‘Unbreakable’ Backup: Resilient backup means an offline and air-gapped backup, which is inaccessible. Veeam, through its certified storage solution and trusted cloud partners, ensures immutability. Using Veeam-provided resilient backup storage solutions, organisations can ensure data backups through the tape, air-gapped or offline media, Veeam Cloud Connect and immutable backups in a hardened repository and AWS S3 or other certified S3-compatible storage providers. 

Encryption and Digital Hygiene: It is quite common for the data in health organisations to transit from one department to another, which highly increases the risk of data leakage and data theft. Therefore, end-to-end encryption and digital hygiene practices, such as multi-factor authentication, robust password management, and the removal of unnecessary devices, are profoundly important to keep ransomware and other threats at bay.

Instant Recovery: Health organisations usually operate in a profoundly fast and busy environment, meaning even a minute’s delay in health-critical operations can sometimes unleash ever-lasting and irrecoverable repercussions. Therefore, any compromise on the data recovery model can cause serious damages to the operations and reputation of the organisation. Veeam has been serving its clients for instantaneous recovery of business data since 2010 and continues to innovate its data recovery mechanism. For instance, Veeam can now expeditiously restore multiple machines at the same time and even accommodate giant healthcare-providing organisations.

Secure Recovery: Organisations often restore malware or other cyber threats into their disinfected or clean environment because threats can sometimes persist in the network system for months. To keep this issue at bay and ensure an automated recovery process, Veeam not only performs the automated security checks and additional verifications from the backup restore point but also conducts in-depth anti-malware operations in the infected databases.

From automation to disaster recovery, from tape to cloud storage, from specified locations to the full system recovery, and much more, the Veeam platform has all the concerns of organisations, including healthcare, addressed. Click on the following link to find out more.

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