Ransomware Defense Every Dental Practice Needs

by Larry Emmott on December 11, 2017

in Security

From Dental Product Shopper:

…according to this report, healthcare is the single most targeted industry because victims are most likely to pay ransoms. This is a disturbing revelation for a couple of reasons. On one hand, it indicates that healthcare businesses, dental practices included, have outdated or compromised security protections. In addition, and perhaps more egregiously, the staff is so desperate to regain their patient data that they feel compelled to pay the ransom. At that point, it’s game over and these criminals have won.

Source: The 3-Part Ransomware Defense Every Dental Practice Needs | Practice Management, Practice Management Services | Dental Product Shopper Blog

As a reminder ransomware is an insidious cyber crime in which the criminal tricks the victim into opening malware that encrypts the victim’s data. In our case that includes all our patient charts and information. In order to get the key to unlock the data the dentist must pay a ransom within a few days or loose all their data forever.

Good offsite back up and state of the art malware protection are important however with ransomware the critical element is often staff training.

Team members need to be educated on the latest cyber threats and aware of the kinds of e-mails and such that may contain ransomware. For example an office attending one of my recent data security sessions told us they were tricked into a ransomware situation by a bogus e-mail, supposedly from UPS regarding some undelivered packages. Fortunately they recognized the problem quickly and were able to stop the process before any real damage was done.

Dentists have an additional ransomware concern. Losing our data is a HIPAA violation. The rules not only require us to protect the data from unauthorized use but to keep it available as needed for the patient and future practitioners.

For help contact your professional IT vendor or Tech Central from Henry Schein.

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