Magazine Button
Royal Flying Doctors Service Queensland protects patient data with Rubrik

Royal Flying Doctors Service Queensland protects patient data with Rubrik

AustralasiaCase StudiesHealthcareTop Stories

Iconic Australian health service ensures 24/7 operations and rapid ransomware recovery.

Rubrik, the Zero Trust Data Security Company, has announced it has helped the Royal Flying Doctors Service Queensland (RFDSQ) protect business-critical data and minimize the risk of ransomware attacks against the organization.

Now, Rubrik gives RFDSQ cyber-resiliency and ensures Business Continuity so that the health service can continue saving lives across the state.

Covering more than 1.7 million square kilometers, RFDSQ provides essential healthcare and retrieval services to some of Australia’s most isolated communities.

Each year, it delivers more than 98,000 episodes of care which includes transporting 11,700 patients to and from metropolitan hospitals, running more than 5,300 health clinics across regional, rural and remote Queensland, and providing health advice to more than 16,000 telehealth patients.

Given the enormous area RFDSQ covers, it relies on a fleet of 20 aeromedical aircraft to reach even the most far-flung corners of the state.

Adam Carey, CTO at RFDSQ, said the dual role the organization plays as both an airline and healthcare agency meant the threat of ransomware holding critical data hostage was one of its greatest concerns.

“In the past two years, cybersecurity has evolved from a side-issue to our number one business risk,” Carey said. “Even against our own organization we’ve seen cleverly crafted, targeted phishing attacks, especially to our executive team. It shows nothing is off limits, not even essential health services like ours.”

Following a spate of high-profile ransomware attacks against Australian organizations, Carey said the RFDSQ board and executive team decided to bolster its data security capabilities to minimize the risk ransomware posed to its operations.

“Patient data is everything to us. It’s our crown jewels,” he said. “Patient care is our main reason for existing, and the motivation for everything we do. For us, care extends beyond the physical – it’s also about ensuring patient privacy is always protected and Rubrik helps us protect it.”

While privacy risks were a key consideration in implementing Rubrik, so too was the potential operational impact a ransomware attack could have.

“We need to protect our data to remain operational at all times. If we were to lose access to some of our key data and systems, pilots couldn’t log their flight plans for the day, so they’d literally be grounded,” Carey said.

Working with local IT partner Centum Services, Carey said he chose Rubrik as it was simple to implement, delivered rapid RTO (Recovery Time Objectives) and RPO (Recovery Point Objectives), and supported RFDSQ’s Microsoft Azure environment.

“We’re protecting our entire Outlook, Exchange, Teams and Sharepoint environments along with the core servers that hold our critical data – both corporate drives and medical databases,” he said. “We implemented Rubrik the week before Christmas and it literally took 90 minutes to set up.”

“The fact we have critical data stored in Rubrik, off-premises, completely air-gapped from our environment, means we can restore to a different tenancy or a completely different server straight away, without having to stand up any physical infrastructure – our bases are covered.

“To be able to say to our CEO that we have that level of protection, that in even the worst-case scenario we can be back-up-and-running within hours, means we can now both sleep a lot better at night.”

“Over the past few years, cyberattackers have made it clear nothing is sacred,” said Scott Magill, Managing Director for Rubrik Australia and New Zealand.

“The biggest risk organizations face today is the inability to operate – losing access to data means losing access to applications, and therefore losing the ability to function. With Rubrik, Royal Flying Doctors Service Queensland has the reassurance it can always be there, providing essential life-saving services when Queenslanders need it most.”

Click below to share this article

Browse our latest issue

Intelligent CIO APAC

View Magazine Archive