Over two-thirds of all healthcare facilities said they have experienced ransomware attacks in 2021, and 2022 is already experiencing a 94% increase in the number of ransomware attacks (link). The state of healthcare is under attack from cyber criminals globally, and it is looking more likely that at some point every healthcare facility may have to deal with the repercussions of an attack.
There are numerous ways of countering ransomware, from firewalls to employee training. However, once an attack is made aware, it is too late. So how does a facility recover from an attack? Healthcare needs to maintain an off-site, disaster recovery archive, or fully redundant, off-line system workflow. What this could look like is an exact replica copy of your imaging set-up, including PACS, viewers and dictation, at an off-site location that is kept off-line except in need of disaster. When a ransomware attack or any other disaster that shuts down your on-line systems occurs, turn on the off-site cloud replica.
Since all the data is now held in ransom, the VNA can be turned to online access as well to provide the imaging data for the back-up PACS. In theory, a completely redundant system is now made available to the imaging staff with full copies of data as well. Any on-site modalities can push their imaging directly to the off-site VNA until the main system is brought back on-line, and the VNA can push those images back to the on-site datacenter as well for recovery.
The main benefit experienced here is a full, back-up system that can consolidate all of the imaging data and be turned on-line the moment it is needed. This will save lives, reduce the cost of ransomware attacks, and soften the disruption from disasters.