It’s 8:30 Tuesday morning and already your stomach is churning.
You barely slept, and when you did the nightmares would start.
By 8:45 your first patient is sitting in the waiting room.
You know her name and why she’s a patient. But you can’t remember where you are in the treatment because you’ve been locked out of your computer system for 3 days.
The reception area is a mess. Normally neat and tidy, your receptionist digs through stacks of papers trying to find her file and praying it’s somewhat updated.
And it’s just 8:45. You have no idea what other patients are going to show up today expecting to be treated because your online booking system is locked down too.
It’s been 3 days and you’re not sure where you with your bank accounts. You’ve been unable to make any deposits or pay any bills because you can’t get onto the network.
Thankfully you’ve got a few days before payroll…but what if this isn’t resolved by then?
Your IT guy has been working on this for 3 days now and finally has some news.
He mentions something about cryptolocker. What is that?
He says you have “lost all your files” and you need to “wipe the system clean and start over again”. What does that even mean? It sounds terrible. Like a cancer diagnosis.
No files? Wiping the system? You can’t be serious…
You can’t concentrate on work. And even if you could, what would you do?
Your office is a disaster. Patients are coming in and you can’t treat them. They’re leaving in a huff. You can’t order prescriptions, check medical records or even see if you’re overdrawn on your bank account.
And your IT company wants to wipe your system clean.
You are in full on panic mode.
Your 8:45 patient asks what’s going on. You explain as best you can. She asks… “do you even know what I do?”
Sadly, you don’t. You could probably look it up if you had your computers, but not today.
Luckily for you, your patient manages an IT company, and they know what cryptolocker is and how to deal with it.
She calls her team. A technician is at your office within an hour.
Geez, he says.
Did you know your antivirus software was totally expired? All you had on the server was a trial version.
A trial version of antivirus software protecting our entire office? That’s it?
Wow, he says next.
Did you know your data wasn’t even being backed up offsite? They had the backup running on a desktop shortcut file.
Wait, no backup?
Ah, ok he says an hour or so later.
He’s found the virus. It literally encrypts your data so you can’t get to it.
Fortunately, he is able to access a shadow copy of your data on the server BEFORE the virus hit. He runs a virus scan to quarantine and remove the virus and gets it off your system.
Then he restores your data three days ago !
For good measure, he adds a firewall and virus protection on all workstations.
Then he sets up a correct remote backup system so this never happens again.
By 4 pm, you’re able to login to your patient records. You can see who’s on the calendar for tomorrow.
You check your banking and you’re OK. Barely.
Another day or two of this and you would have been in real financial trouble.
You can breathe again. And you’ll probably be able to sleep tonight.
How do you function when you’re in panic mode?
This is a true story from one of our local, Mandeville based clients.
She had no idea she had a problem until it was too late.
The worst part is it could have been avoided.
Here are a few tips you can implement today in your business.
First – Check to make sure your virus protection is up to date. Sounds simple, but alot of people let this expire without even knowing it.
Second – Have your vendor restore a file that is supposed be backed up remotely. It doesn’t matter which one, just test the process to make sure it works.
Third – Let us help you. This client had so many things that were setup incorrectly and she had no idea…she’s a doctor. She had bad server settings, out of date virus protection, no firewall and incorrectly configured backup.
The good news is this story has a happy ending. Our client now has their “zen” office back. But we’ve had situations like this that didn’t end well. Don’t wait for it to happen to you…