computer backup

Backing Up: Your Computer Needs a Rearview Mirror

You wouldn’t drive your car without a rearview mirror. You certainly wouldn’t back up without one.

Neither should you drive your computer without one. You might even say that backing up your computer is your rearview mirror. Perhaps if we thought of it that way we might be more consistent backing up our PCs than most of us probably are.

Okay. Enough punning around. The point is that we need to back up our computers. Backing up preserves the memory of where we have been.

Here are five good reasons to back up consistently.

  1. Your computer isn’t going to do it by itself. Think of all the work that your computer is doing for you. Do you really expect it to do EVERYTHING for you? Backing up is something you do for your computer so that it can be all that it needs to be for you.
  2. Your computer can get sick. If your computer gets a virus, you can lose valuable information. Backing up what you know to be accurate can make restoring your data to complete health and functionality easily.
  3. Your computer can die. If you haven’t had a hard drive crash, you have got to be in the minority. They die. In fact, their mortality rate is much higher than we think – or would like to think. Statistics show that 22% of hard drives fail during the first four years of use. Some have defects. Some just die from overwork. If your hard drive crashes and you don’t have a backup, you will need a memorial service for your dearly departed data.
  4. Your computer user makes mistakes. We know this probably doesn’t apply to you, but we need to mention it for all our other readers. When you know that something has gone terribly wrong – like accidentally deleting a file – a recent backup may be your only remedy for human error.
  5. Your computer uses is a klutz. Again, this probably doesn’t apply to you, so be considerate of our other readers who have dropped their laptops in the past. Maybe some thought they were lucky (?) that it fell into a pile of snow, only to find that something got wet that shouldn’t get wet. It may not have been broken into smithereens, but the effect is the same.

We could go on, but the important thing is that you get the point and start backing up your digital devices on a regular basis, at least daily.

We understand that it is a pain to do and to remember to do. But it is still true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Guarding your technology begins with protecting your data. It is really that important and your protection all begins with you.

We are as concerned about your technology security as you are. Your computer system security is our business. That’s why Tech Sentries is always on duty. Contact us today to learn how we can help you “GUARD YOUR TECHNOLOGY” (843-282-2222).

Joe Thibodeau
Tech Sentries Inc
2105 Leopold Street
Johns Island, SC 29455
843-282-2222 Office/Fax
843-902-6885 Cell

hospital ransomeware

The Frighteningly True Cost of Ransomware Part 2 – A Hospital Infected

If you were amazed at the ransomware statistics in the first article in this series, you will be stunned to discover the actual costs of several real ransomware attacks in this and the next several posts.

Dateline: Buffalo, NY

It usually takes a massive snowstorm to bring Buffalo to a crawl. On April 9, 2017, all it took was a single ransomware attack to bring the entire operating system of the Erie County Medical Center, a Tier 1 Trauma Center, to its knees. That infection affected hospital operations for over six weeks.

The Cost of Ransomware is More Than You Think

The ransom request was only $30,000. You might think that’s not bad for a hospital. Think again. The total cost of recovery exceeded $10 million. That is precisely why it is so crucial for us to warn our readers of the need to prepare for the potential of a ransomware attack. More on the ransom below.

When the attack unfolded, ransom notes began appearing on computer screens throughout the entire facility. Once the IT Department ordered all computers to be shut down, the hospital was forced to operate substantially as it did more than two decades ago. Everything from medical records to memos had to be managed by hand. The computer system belonged in the hospital. It was, in effect, disabled.

Infection, Treatment, and Recovery

  • One virus – 6,000 computers infected that had to be cleaned and restored.
  • One virus – so big that IT specialists from other hospitals, the NY State Police and the FBI were called in to assist.
  • One virus – no email communication for two weeks.
  • One virus – no electronic communication in the hospital lab and radiology department for three weeks.
  • One virus – no electronic processing of prescriptions for more than four weeks.
  • One virus – All electronic records for the 602-bed hospital had to be updated after the system was recovered.

What About the Ransom?

ransomewareWe don’t know the motives of the perpetrators. Frankly, when you are the victim, the criminals’ motivations don’t matter. What matters is the damage that they have caused. Think of, for instance, a patient in the ER with a heart attack. The cause of the attack is relatively unimportant. What matters most is that the person can regain his health and that steps are taken to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
The hospital followed the same protocol as it would when treating its patients. Identify the problem. Fix the problem. Begin a regimen to prevent the problem from occurring again.

The hospital did not pay the $30,000 ransom. They recognized that the payment was not the priority. The priority was restoring their system to operational health. The cost of recovery was just as devastating as major surgery would be for a person without healthcare insurance – if not more.

Lessons Learned

Prevention is the only inexpensive alternative to ransomware. The staff of the hospital would likely suggest ways for us to guard against infections, but it failed to defend against infections caused by ransomware.

A ransomware attack may not cost your business $10 million, but it will have a cost. You can be sure that the expense will be commensurate with, and potentially able to destroy, your business.

Tech Sentries works diligently to keep you aware of potential dangers and how to take a few, common-sense steps to Guard Your Technology and to ensure the safety of your data and devices.

Keep up to date with us as this series continues to unfold and to reveal the realities of ransomware – and what it could cost you and your business.

We are as concerned about your computer system security as you are. Your computer system security is our business. That’s why Tech Sentries is always on duty. Contact us today to learn how we can help you “GUARD YOUR TECHNOLOGY” (843-282-2222).