At some point, every organization deals with a power outage or downed network that limits file access. But what about a cyberattack?

On October 1st, 2019, hackers attacked three Alabama hospitals using ransomware. They encrypted digital file systems, preventing access. Four days later, DCH Health System paid the hackers’ ransom to regain access with a decryption key.

Sadly, the hospitals are not alone. Cyberattacks such as this are increasing. For organizations and businesses using digital file systems, this poses a major threat to operations. As a result, many executives today opt to back digital systems with physical files.

This is a wise move, as even standalone systems safe from ransomware attacks can still fall victim to power outages. To stay operational during an outage or attack, however, physical files need to be easily located, tracked, and managed. This is all possible with factory printed labels, barcode and RFID tags, and efficient tracking systems.

Factory Printed Labels

From a hands-on perspective, color coded printed labels make file management easy. Color coding enables quick spotting and pulling of relevant files for a case or department. It also means a file that’s out of place sticks out like a sore thumb. This makes it harder to misplace or lose files.

In an outage or ransomware situation, printed labels enable a quick transition. Having every file in its place and easily located means operations don’t need to stop. This is even more true with custom barcode labels and RFID tags.

Custom Barcode and RFID Printed Labels

Custom barcode labels add a new layer of accessibility to file information. What a printed label doesn’t reveal, a barcode and RFID scan can display. This not only adds efficiency, but also makes file tracking more accurate.

Team members handling and scanning file barcodes create a recorded chain of custody. Consequently, it’s possible to know who last had a file and when, so it can be located when needed. In the case of an attack or downed server, this chain of custody is the difference between staying operational or shutting down.

But what if the power goes out? No problem. Battery backed servers and readers paired with tablets or laptops gives organizations access to all information, even during an outage. Locally stored data makes hard copies of information easy to generate. And when power is restored, data replication means all updates are immediately applied.

RFID tags add even more ability, because they can be automatically scanned from many feet away. Sensors near doorways and high-traffic areas of a building help paint a more accurate picture of a file’s last known location.

Management software for barcode and RFID tags is at the core of an efficient tracking system. In the case of the Alabama hospitals, it would have allowed them to locate the exact pallet, box, and file number for every patient quickly and painlessly. A spreadsheet of all physical file locations could be printed, and patients wouldn’t have to be transferred to other hospitals.

At ColorFlex, we pair our factory printed labels with robust barcode and RFID software. If you’re ready for a file tracking system prepared to withstand outages and attacks, reach out to us today.