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Surviving Disaster: How Connected Backup Shielded a Pharmacy from Two Ransomware Attacks

by   in Portfolio

In today’s digital age, the threat of ransomware is more real and dangerous for businesses than ever. Ransomware, a malicious software that encrypts data and holds it hostage until a ransom is paid, poses a significant risk to businesses of all sizes. The consequences of a successful attack are far-reaching: from operational downtime, financial loss, to reputational damage. But perhaps the most alarming aspect is the potential loss of the company’s most valuable asset - its data. Data is the lifeblood of modern businesses; it drives decision-making, fuels growth, and gives companies a competitive edge. A ransomware attack can wipe out years of data in an instant, leaving businesses crippled and scrambling to recover. Therefore, it is imperative for businesses to prioritize data protection against ransomware, not just as a part of their IT strategy, but as a critical component of their overall business resilience plan. The good news is that with the right protection plan, the threat of ransomware can be curbed, and data can be held safely within a company’s network.

The Challenge

Saenz Pharmacy is the largest independent chain in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas in the U.S. The business began operating more than 30 years ago, and since that time, it has grown from one store to six. Saenz Pharmacy provides compounding services, free delivery of medical products, and one-on-one patient counselling, being an alternative to ‘big box’ pharmacies.

As any medical facility with customers’ personal information, Saenz Pharmacy must protect its business records from IT failure and cybersecurity attacks, which proved to be difficult for them.

The company didn’t have an IT manager to back up its data, which posed a significant problem as the owner had to find time for this task while simultaneously running the business.

Another issue was the company didn’t have an efficient backup and recovery tool. Portable hard drives connected to each PC automatically backed up the PCs at midnight each night. However, this was a slow process. The backup drives were also unreliable and sometimes ran out of capacity before the backup process was completed. “There was always a problem,” Jesus Saenz (owner) says.

Saenz wanted a more reliable backup and recovery process. He also wanted to store the backups in a secure, off-site location. That would ensure the data was safe if there was a problem with the pharmacy PCs.

Storing backups off-site would also help the business comply with data privacy regulations. These regulations include the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which protects the privacy of individuals’ heath information. (U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Summary of the HIPAA Security Rule, July 26, 2013) Saenz Pharmacy planned to start offering digital prescriptions to customers instead of paper prescriptions and needed to safeguard the prescription data.

The Solution

In 2011 Saenz started using the endpoint backup and recovery solution OpenText Connected Backup in addition to his existing backup method. Connected Backup runs on each of Saenz Pharmacy’s PCs and automatically backs up predefined folders to a cloud backup environment.

Saenz Pharmacy also engaged Colorado company Remote Data Backups, which provides backup and recovery support services. Remote Data Backups has helped customers move their backups off-site for more than 18 years and has extensive experience using Connected Backup. It now monitors Saenz Pharmacy’s backup and recovery processes and offers 24x7 assistance via its U.S.-based technical support team.

The Results

Protects Sensitive Information

Connected Backup and Remote Data Backups have helped Saenz Pharmacy avoid losing money and data after the business was targeted by two ransomware attacks. The backups remained safe because they were stored off-site. “Because I have Connected Backup backing up to the cloud, I don’t have to worry about backups anymore,” Saenz says.

Another benefit of Connected Backup is that it allows Saenz to back up 1 terabyte of data. The software also backs up data every 15 minutes, reducing the chance of losing data in the event of a PC failure or cybersecurity incident.

Saenz is also kept up to date about any backup problems. Remote Data Backups will contact him if one of his PCs hasn’t backed up. That might happen if a problem with the PC causes Connected Backup to stop working. Remote Data Backups can also remotely fix backup problems for Saenz Pharmacy.

“Anytime I have an issue, I call them and they help me out. That includes after business hours,” Saenz says.

Saves Time

Saenz now spends much less time recovering data. After each of the ransomware attacks, he called Remote Data Backups and they connected to his PC and restored his data in less than an hour.

“Connected Backup makes it easy to guide a customer through the recovery process. That saves them a lot of time,” says Remote Data Backups Chief Executive Officer Dan Dugal.

Addresses Regulatory Compliance

A secure, off-site backup process has made it easier for Saenz Pharmacy to comply with data privacy regulations. Connected Backup encrypts backups while they are being transmitted and while they are stored, minimizing the possibility of someone viewing the information without permission.

Without Connected Backup and Remote Data Backups, Saenz would have to manually move his backups in an encrypted format off-site every night.

A Bit on Connected Backup

Connected Backup reduces virtually all the risk of data loss from enterprise desktops and laptops, whether local or remote. By automatically backup up PC data in the background, the solution ensures comprehensive data protection without interrupting users.

Using patented technology, OpenText Connected Backup transmits only changes to data for backup, to save time, network bandwidth, and storage space. Connected Backup utilizes advanced encryption and other security technologies to safeguard data at all times, including during transmission, storage, and recovery.


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