Why Your Dental Clinic’s Staff Needs Cybersecurity Awareness Training

Your staff can have a significant effect on your dental clinic’s cybersecurity—either they know enough to keep your patients’ data secure, or they don’t, and therefore present a serious threat to your security.

Why Your Dental Clinic’s Staff Needs Cybersecurity Awareness Training

Your staff members can’t be expected to spot a phishing email or a fraudulent website if they haven’t been trained to do so. Have you invested in your dental clinic’s staff’s cybersecurity awareness yet?

You wouldn’t expect your staff members to be able to do their jobs well without the proper training, right?

Of course not—following that logic, how can you expect them to be able to contribute to your dental clinic’s cybersecurity without being trained to do so?

The fact is that, even though your staff members may be your most important resource, when it comes to cybersecurity, they may also be your greatest liability.

After all, more than 90% of cybersecurity incidents can be traced back to human error…

3 Cybercrime Scams That Target Unaware Users At Your Dental Clinic


Phishing is a method in which cybercriminals send fraudulent emails that appear to be from reputable sources in order to get recipients to reveal sensitive information and execute significant financial transfers.

Phishing attacks are mass emails that request confidential information or credentials under pretenses, link to malicious websites, or include malware as an attachment.

With only a surprisingly small amount of information, cybercriminals can convincingly pose as staff  members and superiors in order to persuade employees to give them money, data, or crucial information.

The average phishing attack costs businesses $1.6 million. The problem with the rising tide of cybercrime incidents is that you get desensitized to the whole thing. The fact is that dental clinics aren’t learning to protect themselves, which is why the number of reported phishing attacks has gone up by 65% in the past few years.


In a ransomware attack, an unsuspecting user clicks on a seemingly safe link, or emailed attachment that appears to be a bill or other official document. Instead, the attachment installs a malicious software program (malware) onto the computer system that encrypts the data and holds it at ransom.

The user is then stuck without access to their data, and faced with paying the attacker a huge sum. According to Coveware’s Q4 Ransomware Marketplace report:

  • The average ransomware payout is $84,116
  • The highest ransom paid by a target organization was $780,000
  • The average ransomware attack results in 16.2 days of downtime

Malicious Websites

Hackers can create fake websites that are set up to look like a real site, but the spelling of the URL or site name contains an error that is easily made by users. For example, an attacker may set up a site with the name “www.gooogle.com” instead of www.google.com.

Users who are not careful may type in an extra ‘o’ in the name and will land on the fake site. From here, the site will record all of the information that you enter into any text or password boxes, which the cybercriminal will then use against you.

The State Of Healthcare Cybersecurity

Members of the healthcare industry like you and your staff need to take cybersecurity seriously. After all, cybercriminals know how valuable medical data is.

Unfortunately, cybersecurity awareness is not always a priority. According to a report from Kapersky, up to 24% of healthcare workers in the US have not received any cybersecurity training.

That doesn’t mean the other 76% of your staff is totally secure in their practices either—11% of them would likely state that the only cybersecurity training they ever received was during their hiring process. In the end, only 38% of employees from the 1,700 surveyed healthcare organizations reported that they received cybersecurity training on an annual basis.

The fact is that cybersecurity in healthcare IT is more difficult than in other sectors—poorly trained workers only makes this problem worse.

The modern healthcare workplace requires a lot of data sharing with a lot of different people, more so than in other sectors. It exists on more different devices in more dispersed settings. The complexity and breadth of health IT systems have increased. At its core, healthcare cybersecurity comes down to the HIPAA Security Rule.

The Security Rule sets standards for the handling of electronically Protected Health Information (ePHI), which is the specific type of data the HIPAA Privacy Rule covers. This rule establishes national standards for properly securing patient data that is stored or transmitted electronically.

The rule requires that three different types of safeguards are put in place:

  • Administrative
  • Physical
  • Technical

The purpose of these safeguards is to ensure the security of ePHI as it is transported, maintained, or received. Essentially, the Security Rule is meant to allow for new technology to be integrated into your dental clinic’s operations uninterrupted while still keeping private patient data protected.

By law, the Security Rule applies to health plans, healthcare clearinghouses, and any other healthcare provider that handles any sort of health information electronically. Any provider or entity that comes in contact with ePHI must comply with the HIPAA Security Rule.

What’s The Most Effective Way To Protect Your Dental Clinic?

Cybersecurity Awareness Training is the best method for defending your dental clinic from phishing, ransomware, and other scams. This method recognizes how important the user is in your cybersecurity efforts.

A comprehensive cybersecurity training curriculum will train the staff at your clinic to ask important questions about each and every email they receive:

  • Do I know the sender of this email?
  • Does it make sense that it was sent to me?
  • Can I verify that the attached link or PDF is safe?
  • Does the email threaten to close my accounts or cancel my cards if I don’t provide information?
  • Is this email really from someone I trust or does it just look like someone I trust? What can I do to verify?
  • Does anything seem “off” about this email, its contents, or the sender?

The right training services will offer exercises, interactive programs, and even simulated phishing attacks to test your staff on a number of key areas:

  • How to identify and address suspicious emails, phishing attempts, social engineering tactics, and more.
  • How to use business technology without exposing data and other assets to external threats by accident.
  • How to respond when you suspect that an attack is occurring or has occurred.

Don’t forget—cybersecurity training is a part of compliance as well. Organizations that are subject to HIPAA compliance standards will only further benefit by having their staff trained in cybersecurity best practices.

NOVA Computer Solutions can help…

Sign Up For Breach Secure Now Cybersecurity Training

We offer a comprehensive employee cybersecurity awareness program developed by Breach Secure Now that combines regular online training, simulated phishing attacks, and dark web monitoring. The many components of this curriculum include:

Continuous Security Training

  • Weekly Micro Security Training
  • Delivered via Partner Branded Email to Employees
  • 1-2 Minute Bite-Sized Training Modules
  • Ongoing Training Keeps Security Top of Mind
  • Rich Multi-media Makes Topics Interesting

Monthly Employee Security Newsletter

  • Unique, Non-Technical, Magazine-style Newsletters
  • Reinforces Security Training
  • Delivered via Email to Employees

Simulated Phishing Attack Platform

  • Fake Phishing Emails Test Employee Awareness
  • Ability to Track and Report Employee Actions
  • Partner Selects Campaign Configuration Options
  • Successful Attacks Show Partner Branded Landing Page

Annual Security Risk Assessment

  • Risk Assessment Report
  • Additional Security Recommendations
  • Threats Analysis / Risk Determination

Security Policies and Procedures

  • Electronic Acknowledgment of Policies
  • Administrator Report of Policy Acknowledgment

Whether Your Staff Is A Cybersecurity Asset Or Liability Is Up To You

Your staff can have a significant effect on your dental clinic’s cybersecurity—either they know enough to keep your patients’ data secure, or they don’t, and therefore present a serious threat to your security.

NOVA Computer Solutions is here to help—we will ensure your staff has the knowledge to protect ePHI, rather than put it at risk.

By having our expert team of IT security professionals equip you with robust cybersecurity solutions, train your staff to spot and eliminate threats, as well as keep everything up to date, you can ensure all your cybersecurity bases are covered.

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