A higher-ed IT team switches gears when it realizes its legacy backup solutions can’t fight cyberattacks

Navigating cybersecurity and crafting backup plans

A higher-ed IT team switches gears when it realizes its legacy backup solutions can’t fight cyberattacks

For Mark Dean, Senior Systems Administrator at Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) in Atlanta, Georgia, the cybersecurity war is a never-ending tit for tat with what he calls the ransomware people. Think you have built-in redundancy? They are already after it.

In this premiere episode of Innovations in Education–Higher Ed, Dean discusses his strategies for keeping the data, and more importantly, the people safe online at this prestigious institution.

MSM is among the nation’s leading educators of primary care physicians, biomedical scientists and public health professionals. An independent, private, and historically Black medical school, MSM works to increase patient access to high-quality care and eliminate health disparity in underserved communities.

When MSM decided to be proactive about defending against ransomware, the IT department quickly realized its legacy backup solutions weren’t equipped to handle cyberattacks–they were unreliable, difficult to use, and expensive. That’s when MSM turned to Veeam Availability Suite as a more affordable, efficient and secure solution, saving MSM $75,000 in backup costs and 500 hours of IT management each year.

eCN: When it comes to cybersecurity, it is never really a problem/solution discussion is it? Where are you currently on this journey?

MD: We’ve always had a good backup and recovery type of a scenario that we’ve been using for a number of years now. But what really got me worried was reading about how ransomware people—let’s call them that—they’re actually now going after your backups, so you have no way to recover. And if you use the cloud, they can get into your cloud stuff, and they’d leave your cloud backups unless you have arrangements with the cloud providers. So that really caused me a lot of concern because backups are only as good as you can put them back. And so, we looked at what we were doing, and we’ve made some changes based on industry standards and made a change in how we look at the backups. There are still some things we’re implementing but that was the impetus.

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