It is now becoming common practice for the medical industry to make use of online backup to store information. The reasons for this are more apparent than one may think.
The medical practice and the industry itself are highly data-driven in that they rely heavily on huge amounts of data, such as financial records, scans, reports, etc. This data and information forms a critical part of normal day-to-day operations and the loss or corruption of any of it may have far-reaching effects.
Logically, a huge part of a medical business' business continuity plan is to have online backup as part of its data protection. Utter chaos will ensue if vital records or case files are lost or stolen. In a pandemic or natural disaster, medical records and access to these are a critical part of the mitigation of such a disaster. Other types of disasters, such as burglaries, cannot be ignored either. Imagine if the medical records of a well-known celebrity are stolen and/or sold and used for blackmail. What if private information, such as the HIV status of various people, is leaked and goes viral on social networks?
One mustn't be confused between online backup and online storage.
Online storage is commonly known as the ability to store files and data online. It is a convenient way for people and individuals to store files such as music and videos online where they can retrieve the files whenever needed. An added bonus is that the files can be retrieved anywhere, anytime - even from mobile devices. The downside of online storage is that your files may not always be encrypted and thus not very secure. Many file hosting sites garner negative reputations for hosting illegal and copyrighted files - and in some instances malware. Some of these sites have also been closed down by the relative authorities.
Online backup, however, reduces the reliance on backing up to flash drives and other storage devices. Backing up locally means that the backup tapes and hard drives, even if secured in a safe, can be stolen or damaged. What's more, hard drives and tape drives do fail. I once had the horror of a faulty card reader damaging the memory card containing photos of a wedding I had just photographed. Sometimes one cannot get lost files and information back.
The medical industry is turning to online backup.
Online backups are encrypted and stored in secure locations, whereas online storage is usually unencrypted or poorly encrypted.
The advantages of online backup:
Data can be retrieved remotely.
Files and data are encrypted.
Data is backed up incrementally (only the changes made are backed up). This means that data transfer times and impact on data bandwidth are reduced.
Multiple retrieval points: the ability to access a backup from a particular day or backup point and not just the last backup.
Restricted access: the locations of the data are physically secure and access is controlled.
Redundancy: data is replicated in different secure locations and will be available if the primary data location fails.
Automation: data backups can be done automatically.
An online backup provider should also have the following benefits:
Easily accessible support with features such as live chat, ticketing systems and telephonic and email support.
Notifications: one should receive reports of backups and failures timeously.
Cost effective: your online backup plan should be cost effective.
Easy to set up.
Business continuity plan: your online backup provider should have a properly documented and implemented business continuity plan.
Secure from fire and theft.
Losing one's ability to access critical and confidential informational can be catastrophic, not only to a business but also to an individual. The proverbial 'latching the door after the horse has bolted' does not have to happen. One should have a business continuity plan in place and a vital part of that is to make sure that adequate online backups are in place. Contact IronTree for more information on how to back up your data securely online.