Redstor, a leading provider of next-generation data management, has come to the rescue of vets hit by a ransomware attack.
Terry Wilson, the practice manager at Teva Veterinary Clinic, revealed how staff turned up for work on a Monday morning to discover cyber criminals had encrypted all their files.
However, after a quick call to Redstor, a specialist in cloud backup, disaster recovery, archiving, search and data migration services, Wilson was told a backup copy of the clinic's data would be available within 10 minutes.
He then set about wiping the central server and reloading computers with Microsoft Windows software, and thanks to InstantData, Redstor's unique, user-driven technology, the practice was up and running again within the hour as if nothing had happened.
With InstantData, there is no need to wait for a full recovery. At the click of a button, Redstor offers streamed, on-demand access to whatever data is needed, ending downtime.
Wilson said: "I'd warned staff that it would be chaos for 48 hours, but Redstor exceeded all my expectations. The internal office network was working again that morning. I thought it would be a lot more tricky to get all the data."
If the Redstor support technician had been sitting next to him, he insisted: "I would have kissed him! I honestly thought he was joking when he said how quickly he could get us sorted."
Relationship founded on protection
Teva Vet became a Redstor customer three years ago, following a previous ransomware attack that locked down the practice's x-ray files.
Wilson recalled: "They wanted $350 000, a ridiculous amount, money we could not afford.
"The ransomware corrupted our Google Drive and, in trying to find a solution to that, we learned that Redstor iterates, so that every day it backs up a version that is independent of the previous one. We've been using Redstor ever since."
Wilson knows the value of having a data management solution that delivers reliable backup and recovery and disaster recovery, along with archiving, discovery and insight.
He is also safe in the knowledge that Redstor's InstantData will reduce the impact of any further security incidents.
The cause of the most recent ransomware attack on Teva Veterinary Practice was a malicious e-mail attachment.
It was an executable file, sent under the guise of an invoice from a trusted supplier.
When opened by the recipient, the ransomware downloaded, infecting the system.
Wilson said: "You can train staff as much as you like, but only go so far. If ransomware is hidden in an invoice, it is hard to expect staff, under pressure, to check executable files for hidden links.
"The likelihood is that we are going to be hit again, but we know we can now get up and running within an hour of being hit by a full attack where everything disappears.
"Another veterinary practice was hit the week before us and they lost everything. They did not have the same backup protocol that we have."
Proven and trusted tech
Teva Veterinary Practice is one of more than 40 000 clients around the world that uses Redstor to discover, analyse, control and protect their critical data.
Wilson said: "We realised after our first ransomware attack that we were extremely exposed and at risk. We looked online at a couple of solutions, but nothing matched Redstor.
"When we go to professional development conferences, we are always recommending Redstor.
"A big selling point is also that it connects and iterates, then disconnects. It's not like a remote backup to Google Drive, or Google or Dropbox or any of those solutions.
"You can always go back to the previous day's iteration or to whenever the data was not infected, rather than just have one massive backup and lose everything that's come after the previous full backup. That is what a lot of solution providers came to us with. The way the whole process worked with Redstor saved us immensely."
Redstor also allows Teva to budget confidently with a pricing model that is subscription-based, simple and predictable.
Wilson, whose wife Dr Karin Wilson owns the practice, can scale up or down the data he wants protected as he wishes. There are no hidden costs, no surprises.
Multiple copies of backups are held securely, encrypted in local data centres, and the encryption key is set by the customer, ensuring no unauthorised access.
This is particularly important for a veterinary practice that has sensitive financial data and a legal requirement to have an offsite backup of all x-ray data for a minimum of five years.
Redstor's clients have 24/7 access to a support team that draws on 20 years' knowledge and experience within the storage and backup industry.
If Wilson ever needs support, he has the reassurance that his IT staff are speaking to an organisation that is both the technology vendor and infrastructure owner.
Most important of all, though, for Wilson was that Redstor's support team was there for him when he needed them the most.
He recalled: "It was a Monday morning just after 8am, that's our busiest time until 9am. We didn't know what appointments were coming because we couldn't get access to any of our data, and if you can't make new appointments for fear of double-booking, your trust base is being eroded.
"The fact that staff could let the clients know that we would be back up and running before the morning ended was very big. The trust of our clients was restored and our staff now know that we have their backs and they are not going to be left to deal with irate clients."
Recover data in a few clicks
Deployed and configured in 15 minutes, Redstor ensures data management is not a time-consuming task at the clinic in Somerset West, a subsidiary of Cape Town in South Africa.
Wilson said: "Because the backup process is so simple and so easy, I admit I was suspicious that it would work. I was getting weekly reports from Redstor to confirm that everything was backing up every day and, in all honesty, I always thought: 'This is too easy, too simple.'
"We had never got around to testing a full recovery, so when we did it for the first time it was under a massive amount of duress. However, I couldn't fault it and there was a massive amount of elation to see that it actually worked."
Danie Marais, Director of Software Development at Redstor, says the InstantData solution enables data to be streamed in real-time to any device, making downtime a thing of the past.
"There is no need to wait for full recovery; gain immediate access to automated, encrypted and secure online backup and recovery. Simplified data management admin every week. Fast 24/7/365 access to a support team that draws on 20 years' knowledge and experience within the storage and backup industry. We are proud of our ongoing relationship with Teva Veterinary Clinic and happy to have been in the position to protect our client so that they are able to continue operating without any risk from security. Businesses today have little option but to be proactive when it comes to cyber security. We are delighted that Teva Veterinary Clinic was not affected in any way."
* Recovering data after ransomware attack.
* Keeping practice working while data is recovered.
* Requirement to avoid time-consuming data management process.
* Difficulty finding expert support.
* InstantData, Redstor's unique on-demand streaming technology.
* A data management solution that delivers reliable backup and recovery, archiving, disaster recovery and global search.
* Intelligent, policy-driven automation and sophisticated reporting with a centralised management console.
* Support provided by an organisation that is both the technology vendor and infrastructure owner.
Redstor will be exhibiting at the ITWeb Security Summit in May 2019
ITWeb Security Summit is southern Africa's definitive conference and expo for information security, IT and business professionals. The 14th annual ITWeb Security Summit, which was staged at the Southern Sun Cape Sun on 23 May, and is currently on at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, is a high-profile conference and business exhibition featuring top international, African and local speakers delivering key insights across three focused tracks, interactive workshops and in-depth training courses.
The event demystifies emerging cyber security strategies in AI, blockchain, IOT, DevSecOps and more, and gives delegates an understanding of how to increase their businesses' cyber resiliency.
For more information, go to www.securitysummit.co.za.