Prior to 2015 common computer attacks were preventable with basic free versions of one anti-virus or another. Microsoft offered its own version “Security Essentials”, a perfect solution if you were trusted not to visit questionable websites. Similarly, backup was relatively easy, an external data storage, such as, tape or hard-drive protected databases from computer failure. There was no fear of hackers attacking data on your external media.
The change came in 2015 when Ransomware attacks became a monthly and then a weekly occurrence. Hackers would invade a computer, encrypt patient record data and demand payment for the data’s decryption. Holding data for ransom is not a new idea however it was uncommon and encryption was “easier to crack”. In 2015 we noticed the emergence of well funded tech savvy criminal organizations that rendered computers and external data storage devices unusable. Anti virus software was useless against these attacks, even protected computers were hijacked and their data taken for ransom by encryption.
At first anti virus vendors responded through development of decryptors. However decryption-tool development sometimes took 6 months and the inability to access patient records on a hijacked computer was intolerable.
The most efficient protection strategy became to backup to a secured offsite data centre. Medical offices whose data backups and computers were hacked, had to endure the pain of having to close their doors for a day or two. Once their computers were cleaned of viruses data would be restored from a secured location offsite.
Solution: HyperVault – Our 2 Layered Security Strategy
Layer 1. In early 2016 we partnered with a Toronto based secure data centre, via Solarwinds, to offer reliable, ransomware-proof, offsite backup service.
Layer 2. In early 2017 we partnered with a leader in data protection, Bitdefender, to offer GravityZone Endpoint protection. GravityZone proved itself to be able to recognize and stop an attack, on an infected computer, at the early stages. This meant that hackers were stopped before or just after breaching GravityZone security.
HyperVault’s Bitdefender GravityZone protects and stops (zero day) attacks eliminating down-times associated with cleaning computer viruses and restoring data. However offsite backup is still integral for worse case scenarios of a security breach, accidental deletion or hardware failure.