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Ransomware Attack Locks Eyecare Practice’s Computer Systems for Over 2 Weeks

The practice chose not to deal with the hackers.

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BEAVER TOWNSHIP, OH — A ransomware attack left Eye Care Associates Inc. without the use of its computer systems for more than two weeks.

Hackers hit the systems on July 28, The Business Journal of Youngstown, OH, reports. The publication reported on Aug. 14 that, according to Mary Jo Sierra, director of operations for the practice, the systems were expected to be restored “in the next day or two.”

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A report filed with the Beaver Township Police Department stated that “unknown computer hacking software had taken control of the entire Eye Care Associates computer system and locked them out until unknown ransom was paid.”

The police report said the system was infected with a virus that appeared to have originated in North Korea.

The practice chose not to reply that would tell them how much they must pay to regain access to the computer system, the Business Journal reports.

“Once the directors of Eye Care Associates were told that there were valid backup copies [of the data], they decided to restore the system on a brand-new environment,” Ronald Lipinski of Global Business Solutions Corp., which handles data storage and backups for the practice, was quoted saying.

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The attack was disruptive for the ophthalmology and optometry practice. One patient told the Business Journal that he called for an appointment and was told that it could not be set because the computer system was down.

Read more at The Business Journal

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Eyecare Pros Rate Their Happiness with Work … and Life

Results of the 2019 Big Survey are in. Here’s a sample.

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IN INVISION’S FIRST annual Big Survey, we asked ECPs their overall satisfaction with their professional lives … as well as their overall satisfaction with life.

The good news? As a group, ECPs are happy with their careers, reporting an average of 7.9 on a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being “extremely dissatisfied” and 10 being “totally satisfied”). The better news? You’re happier with your life as whole. The average response there was 8.2 on a scale from 1 to 10.

The happiest among you in both areas? Owners of eyewear boutiques without an affiliated OD.

The 2019 Big Survey was conducted from August to October and attracted responses from more than 500 American ECPs. Look out for all the full results in the November/December issue of INVISION.

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Everything Is Bigger in the South, Including Eyecare Practices

Results of the 2019 Big Survey are in. Here’s a sample.

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SEEMS THAT EVERYTHING is bigger in the South, according to INVISION’s Big Survey. The Northeast is home to a disproportionate number of smaller vision businesses, while bigger practices are most common in the South. Thirty-one percent of the small stores/practices in our survey — those with less than 1,500 square feet — were in the Northeast, while 41 percent of the big ones — those over 3,000 square feet — were in the South. These large operations were mostly either private practices with a focus on retail or medical model private practices with a small dispensary.

How big is your (main) location?

Less than 500 sq. ft
4%
500-999 sq. ft.
10%
1,000-1,499 sq. ft.
24%
1,500-1,999 sq. ft.
17%
2000-2499 sq. ft.
15%
2500-2999 sq. ft.
11%
3000-3,999 sq. ft.
8%
4,000-5000 sq. .ft.
6%
More than 5000 sq. ft.
5%

The 2019 Big Survey was conducted from August to October and attracted responses from more than 500 American ECPs. Look out for all the full results in the November/December issue of INVISION.

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Which State Has the Hardest-Working ECPs? And Which State Has the Weirdest? INVISION’s Big Survey Tells All!

Results of the 2019 Big Survey are in. Here’s a sample.

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INVISION’S FIRST ANNUAL Big Survey found out a lot of interesting information about the American ECP… even our Canadian friends to the north weighed in. We started with the basics, and they did not disappoint! Want to know which state has the most female owners, or which one has the weirdest ECPs? Here are few quick takes from the 2019 survey:

Californian ECPs were the least likely to own their places of business, with 82 percent renting.

Kansans were most likely to be open on Sunday with one in four stores and practices open on this traditional “rest” day.

They don’t take kindly to strangers asking questions in South Dakota. South Dakota, Louisiana and New Mexico were the only states not represented in our survey.

Michigan ECPs are some of the hardest working in the industry: 25 percent work more than 50 hours a week.

Florida had the most male owners and managers in our survey at 76 percent. Washington state had the most female owners at 86 percent.

Connecticut was tops for self-declared weirdness with ECPs there giving themselves an average score of 8.2 out of 10 on our weirdness scale.

The 2019 Big Survey was conducted from August to October and attracted responses from more than 500 American ECPs. Look out for all the full results in the November/December issue of INVISION.

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