Is Your Dental Practice Fully Protected from a Devastating Ransomware Attack?

Protecting your patients starts before they even enter your location. Providing a secure, responsive infrastructure can help improve operational efficiencies as well as protect your dental office from cybercriminals.  

It’s not unusual to scroll through your favorite news feed and hear about yet another cyberattack against dentists or other healthcare professionals. With all the sensitive personal, financial and healthcare-related data that is being stored within most dental practices, these entities become a primary target for hackers. When you add in the inability of many small organizations to gain access to adequate security software and monitoring, and you have the perfect storm of low risk that cybercriminals will be stopped or caught plus high-value information that is available to be found. Unfortunately, the cost of these attacks is continuing to grow, with small to mid-size businesses spending up to $200,000 per cybersecurity incident for remediation and other charges. Staying safe has never been more critical, particularly in a time when security-focused IT staff members are at a premium.

Trusted Information Technology Providers are Vital for Success

The recent news that more than 100 dental practices were left without access to patient records devastated the industry, particularly small dental practices that rely on managed services providers to offer top-notch support against ransomware and other major cybersecurity threats. This particular ransomware attack went after the IT service provider who managed the infrastructure for these dental practices, proving the importance of having advanced cybersecurity support from an organization that will be able to stand behind their promises. In this particular instance, the IT services company was only able to provide recommendations to their clients and did not necessarily have the capacity to support remediation or the distribution of unlock keys for each of the affected dental facilities. That left dentists with little choice other than to go outside their current IT support structure and attempt to find an organization to help bring their data back online — or negotiate with the cyberterrorists for the return of their ransomed information.

External Review and Audits for IT Services Partners

When you are interviewing potential IT services and solutions partners, an important component of your discovery is knowing that your IT services team is able to fully support your organization in the event of a cybersecurity emergency. That means everything from having the capacity needed to quickly jump in and remediate any problems as well as proactively working with external auditors to ensure that all potential risks have been managed. Cybersecurity vulnerability scans, as well as penetration testing, can help identify any situations that need to be quickly resolved to ensure your dental practice’s records stay safe. “Unfortunately, in this day and age, it’s not if you’ll have a cyber breach with data, it’s when, unless you make sure your office has the most up-to-date security measures in place,” said Molly Pereira, associate executive director of operations and communications for the Colorado Dental Association. “It truly can happen to anyone.”

Understanding the potential dangers associated with a data breach starts with a thorough understanding of HIPAA, HITECH and other compliance requirements for the dental industry. The professionals at NOVA Computer Solutions are the #1 dental IT support and solutions team in the Northern Virginia, Metro Washington DC and Maryland area, providing support and assistance for dental practices of all sizes. We focus on reducing the overall cybersecurity risk for your organization as well as putting measures in place for quick identification and remediation of any challenges. Contact us at 703-493-1796 or fill out our quick online form to schedule your free initial consultation.

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