Why storage and backups are key to healthcare cybersecurity


With that in mind, Baltazar says, most organizations have made public cloud storage an important part of their data strategy, and they’ve opted for a multi-pronged cybersecurity approach.

“First, there is the protection part,” he specifies, which includes, for example, data encryption. “But there’s also the part where you say, ‘Well, if we’re going to get hacked, we better have a solid recovery methodology. “”

Just a few years ago, says Baltazar, “hardly anyone thought backups were important.” This is no longer the case today. “Now people are worried about the holes in their safety nets. They are looking at their backups and asking what they can do to protect them as well.

The answer often involves things like data bunkers, multiple storage sites, and ensuring backups are isolated or immutable, Baltazar says. “You can’t just think, ‘We backed off, so if the worst happens we’ll fall back on that. People who have created ransomware and done it successfully know this is the playbook.”

Ensure the availability of health data with storage solutions

Marc Hrzic, senior director of IT at UPMC in Pittsburgh, is aware of this fact. “There are bad people out there trying to get into your weakest point every day,” he says.

UPMC now has about 49 petabytes of allocated storage and more than 13,000 virtualized servers, Hrzic says. “We are a highly automated hybrid organization where many workloads run in the cloud, but we also have many running in our data center.”

UPMC’s storage protection strategy is “layered,” he adds. “The challenge is that we have to do everything right all the time, but the attacker only has to go in once to cause an extreme amount of damage.”

DIVE DEEPER: Understand CDW strategies for cloud, flash array backup, and recovery data storage.

In this context, UPMC uses monitoring solutions designed to detect malware before it can launch. The organization also relies on IBM Spectrum Storage and Dell EMC tools and the IBM FlashSystem platform.

“From a block storage perspective, we are all-flash storage in the data center,” says Hrzic. The IBM system takes 49 petabytes of data and scales it down to 34 for storage, he says, and UPMC uses synchronous replication under a global namespace to ensure data is available across multiple data centers in different geographic locations.

“Ultimately, everything we do is about the patient and provides applications for frontline clinicians,” says Hrzic. “But it all starts with a solid foundation for data protection and security.”


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