Is my veterinary hospital practice management data readily accessible for everyday use and approved operations?


As proof that no industry is fully immune to useful proverbs, aviation aficionados will be familiar with the saying “elevate and then navigate”, meaning that while flying, a pilot’s number one job is to keep the plane in the air at all times. If a risk appears that jeopardizes the elevation of the plane – troubleshoot that problem first. Can you keep your veterinary hospital in the air in the event of a disaster? Our veterinary practice data is what keeps us afloat and we need it to be available to serve our patients.

Example – Old Server Move

Availability issues can come in many forms. A veterinary hospital in Colorado had an older aging server. Business was booming and the hospital had expanded and they began to move their server into a brand new network closet. That’s right getting the server off the top of the litter box.

They shut the server down, moved it to its new physical location and…… it wouldn’t turn on. The motherboard had failed. However, we had proper business continuity backups in place. We powered it on and ran the hospital on the backup device for a week while we procured a new server. Allowing the hospital the availability of their data to see patients while the server had crashed.

Example – NVA Ransomware

When most veterinary professionals think about ransomware they tend to only think about the server. Back in late 2019 NVA had over 400 hospitals lose availability to all PCs and Servers through a supply chain ransomware attack.

They lost access to all PCs and Servers. Ransomware doesn’t just encrypt your data it encrypts all your applications as well. You can’t even open Google Chrome, no internet, no nothing. When you attempt to reinstall an application before the ransomware has been removed, it also gets encrypted.

Availability isn’t limited to just your practice management system. It’s all systems and applications that are critical to operating your veterinary hospital.

We live in a world where all wars will begin as cyber wars... It's the combination of hacking and massive, well-coordinated disinformation campaigns.

Jared Cohen