Secure Backup for the Healthcare IndustryIf you are in the health care business you have many special IT concerns. Even the normal safety operations like backup raise special considerations.
Your care of health care data is subject to the stringent requirements of HIPAA and potential legal discovery. It also happens to be highly personal and you owe it to your patients to do what you can to keep it confidential.
Because the data is so sensitive, you may have good reason to be suspicious of backup services which store your confidential patient data on someone else's servers located who knows where. Better to back up to your own equipment, whether on- or off-site.
Are all communications over the wire encrypted? Are the backed-up files themselves encrypted when at rest, i.e. on disk?
Everyone supports Windows, but what if you have some Macs? What if you want to back up to inexpensive Linux-based NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices, such as those from Synology or Western Digital? A good solution runs on all of these.
Management and Reporting
Can you easily define which users have access to which files? Can you easily generate reports of what systems are being backed up and when? Can you easily report on which aren't being backed up?
Return On Investment
Backup systems from big-name companies cost over $1000 to cover even just a few systems. How do you measure return on investment for such a program? This is a difficult question, more about philosophy than business. While backup is crucial, paying more than you have to never makes sense.
To be sure, there are plenty of mainstream concerns which apply to IT as well as everyone else. Does the system perform well, both for backup and restore?
Are restores simple to do? Is the system reliable? Do backups happen automatically or only when they are scheduled or explicitly run? Can you backup and restore securely over the Internet?
Fortunately there are solutions available which fulfill all these requirements and which are affordable. Syncrify from Synametrics costs $49 per client. This is a one-time cost. No need to buy a license for many more systems than you will ever use. Buy exactly as many as you need.
By encrypting all data in transit and at rest, Syncrify allows you to meet stringent privacy standards. It runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. Users can be restricted to access specific directories, and can access the system through any web browser. If you so choose, users can access the system over the Internet or Syncrify can back up to an off-site location over the Internet. It's OK; the data is all encrypted. Robust but easy to access reporting tells you, automatically if you wish, whether backups are proceeding as you planned.
As the custodian of important, personal patient information, you do have to back up your systems securely. You don't have to buy and spend far more than you need in order to do a good job of it.