Protect Your Orthodontic Practice’s Data (Why/How)
The data you store on your patients is by far your orthodontic practice’s most valuable asset.
Are you properly protecting it?
The danger is real – not too long ago, hundreds of dental practices across the US were infected with malware. Over the course of a single weekend, hackers penetrated the target systems, and by the time dental staff came in for work Monday morning, their patient data was inaccessible.
Instead of targeting the dental practices directly, hackers went after a digital “bottleneck” of sorts – the developers of software that so many practices use, DDS Safe. This medical record retention and backup solution is meant to help practices manage their patient data, but the hackers turned it against them.
Is Your Practice’s Data At Risk?
Although the hackers are executing this attack differently than a conventional ransomware attack, the root of the problem was the same. The target wasn’t properly protecting their patients’ data, which allowed hackers to access the systems.
No matter how cybercriminals choose to try to make money off of you, you need to be prepared to defend yourself. Data protection is a crucial part of operating in the healthcare industry – in failing to do so, you risk non-compliance fines, lost business, and further expenses in ransoms like these.
How Can You Protect Your Practice From Similar Attacks?
Protecting your data requires a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity. You need to understand how your data is stored, how it is protected, and how to watch out for attempted penetrations.
To kickstart your data protection processes, begin by answering these three questions:
1. Do You Have An Inventory Of Your Data Assets?
You have to start from a place of understanding. Begin by taking stock of your data – what it is, where it is stored, etc. With that information, you can then move forward in protecting it.
2. What Would Happen If You Lost Those Data Assets?
You also have to consider the worst-case scenario. What would it mean to you if you lost your data right now? Do you have a backup plan? Do you have redundancies and contingencies in place?
3. Does Your Staff Help Protect Your Data?
A comprehensive cybersecurity training program will teach your staff how to handle a range of potential situations:
- 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.
Need Expert Assistance Keeping Patient Data Safe?
NOVA Computer Solutions will help implement a range of robust security measures to help you protect your data:
Your firewall is your first line of defense for keeping your information safe. A firewall is a particular type of solution that maintains the security of your network.
It blocks unauthorized users or suspicious connections from gaining access to your data. Firewalls are deployed via hardware, software, or a combination of the two.
Our team will keep an eye on your systems around the clock, identifying and suspicious activity and addressing it immediately to prevent any negative effects.
If you have you have a data backup solution, then it doesn’t matter if your data has been encrypted. You can just replace it with your backup, simple as that.
That’s why you should make a considerable investment in a comprehensive backup data recovery solution so that you can restore your data at a moment’s notice when necessary.
We will be sure to:
- Back up data on a regular basis, both on and offsite.
- Inspect your backups manually to verify that they maintain their integrity.
- Secure your backups and keep them independent from the networks and computers they are backing up.
- Separate your network from the backup storage, so the encryption process is unable to “hop” networks to the backup storage device. This keeps your backup data from being encrypted.
Click here to get started or call us at (703) 493-1796.
As a consultant to dental practices, I help my clients maximize what can be done with their technology to maximize production and profit.