You wouldn’t think that dental offices would be prime targets for cybercriminals, but they are. After all, your office houses a lot of critical information that cybercriminals can use both against you and your valued clients. Cybersecurity for dental practices is now an essential part of a wise business strategy.
You understand the importance of cybersecurity — particularly since the implementation of HIPAA compliance standards. And you are well aware of the penalties associated with non-compliance.
But is all of the hype surrounding cybercrime true?
We’re conditioned to the news only reporting the worst possible stories. Yes, we do hear about powerful viruses and what they’ve done to other people’s businesses, but we think, “Surely those are larger corporations than my small dental practice.”
The truth is that home-based cybersecurity solutions are inadequate for the task of protecting Woodbridge, Virginia dental practices from attack by a cybercriminal. Whether you know it or not, you are a prime target.
Here are five reasons why it’s too risky to leave your dental practice without a proactive cybersecurity strategy.
Cybercriminals are directly targeting dental and healthcare-based practices.
A study by Fortinet in 2016 indicates that 700,000 attempts were made to hack critical data from dental and health-care based operations in the United States. It’s hard to wrap our minds around this, but it’s true.
Why would a hacker target a dental office? Because you harbor the data that is valuable to them in your systems. Identity theft is a money maker for cybercriminals, and you have access to hundreds if not thousands of identities via your confidential client files. Cybersecurity for dental offices is a necessity.
Small dental offices are more attractive to cybercriminals.
People love the small town feel of their local dentist office. They are not alone in their approach. Cybercriminals prefer small practices as well. At first glance, this might not seem to make a lot of sense since hackers are after as much data as they can access in one shot. Why not target a larger office?
There are multiple reasons why cybercriminals prefer to prey on small practices without cybersecurity for dental offices. One of these reasons is because smaller offices usually have a more modest staff. A lower number of employees can often mean that multi-tasking is necessary, and details can often get overlooked. Hackers are counting on this to be the case.
In offices that are smaller and that function with limited staff, the chances are good that cybersecurity for the dental practice is a concern, but it isn’t the primary concern. The team likely will not have an in-depth knowledge of the latest security measures and may not fully understand and implement HIPAA protocols. It’s an assumption on the part of the cyberhacker. But it’s a gamble they are willing to take.
Cybercriminals also believe that smaller offices may opt to handle their cybersecurity needs on their own.
Small dental practices likely won’t have a firewall or the latest in IT expertise to keep them protected. Simply put, criminals believe that you are an easy target.
A cyber attack could have fatal implications for your dental office.
Let’s face it. All it takes is one breach of your security for your dental office to sustain injury. The implications of lost or stolen data are severe. The trust of your patients is central to your business success. Without cybersecurity for dental offices, your patient’s may lose confidence in your ability to protect their records.
Cybercriminals have one intent — to exploit you and your patients for their gain in any way possible.
If the cybersecurity for your dental office is not impenetrable and hackers get in, what are the consequences you could face?
- There are financial repercussions. Reports say that it costs approximately $551,000 to recover from a compromise of the data in your systems. But that is a rough estimate. It could cost you much, much more. Most dental practices cannot afford to have to cover those costs.
- Your reputation could suffer irreparable damage. Unfortunately, all it takes is once. Even with a one time breach, most people will not give you a second chance. You will always be known as THAT dental office. Getting a poor reputation because of lax IT security affects the clients you have now, and it affects your future. If it is difficult to build a reputation, it is almost impossible to repair one. There is rarely any coming back from a cybersecurity breach of this nature.
- You could face penalties for HIPAA violations. Failing to have adequate cybersecurity for your dental practice that leads to a breach is not something that HIPAA compliance regulators are going to forgive. There will be penalties beyond the loss of data, and they will be very severe. These can potentially include not only hefty fines but also jail time.
Dental offices possess the data that cybercriminals want most.
It’s not just that you have access to a lot of data. You have the RIGHT kind of data for cybercriminals. Because of the nature of the work you do, your systems are virtually guaranteed to pay off for a hacker if they are correct, and there is a pathway into your operations. Your business is incredibly attractive to a cybercriminal.
Cybercriminals assume that you will not have cybersecurity for dental offices.
Just because you are small doesn’t mean that you are not prepared. But hackers are willing to take the bet that you’re not. Maybe you think that you are. You’ve installed home versions of antivirus software, and you’ve not run into any problems yet. “YET” — That’s the key word.
How do you know if you’ve already been a target of a cybercriminal? You don’t.
You might have just been fortunate so far. But luck always runs out, and when it does, you cannot afford to be unprepared.
Hackers are far more intelligent than people think. Their methods are quite cunning, and they are capable of regenesis to allow multiple hacking attempts on unsuspecting dental practices just like yours. The problem is the average person don’t understand how to discover vulnerabilities in their systems. To stay protected and have complete peace of mind, cybersecurity services from a professional IT firm are a must. Look at them as an investment in a good night’s sleep for you.
Cyber threats are a real problem for dental practices today. Criminals are on the hunt day and night for dental offices with unprotected systems. Their crimes ruin the lives and careers of many honest, hard-working people.
But it doesn’t have to happen to you. Contact Nova Computer Solutions now at 888-711-3234 to learn more about how our cybersecurity for dental practices can give you complete peace of mind.