Ransomware Attacks Crippling Dental Practices
Dentaltown and the internet are ablaze with horror stories of recent cybersecurity breaches known as “ransomware” that have affected dental offices in the U.S.
While this may seem like a scary time to be a dentist in the digital age, there are plenty of steps you can take to prevent damage from malware in your dental practice.
Ransomware is a form of malware (malicious software) that interferes with the computer’s ability to function by encrypting the data with a key that cannot be unlocked until a ransom is paid to the perpetrators.
What does this mean to the average dental practice? It means the threat is real that you could become a victim. You could be locked out of your computers and not be able to access any patient records, take x-rays, chart, make notes, or anything within your software system that is connected to the internet.
The entity that locks up your computer with the malware has typically gotten in through a bad website someone clicked on or an infected email or attachment that was opened.
You must get a security check-up by your IT company or another recommended, trusted source. Your dental software company can help you with this also.
According to Dr. Lorne Levine from The Digital Dentist, these three suggestions help you to stay out of trouble with ransomware:
- Have appropriate protections in place, such as antivirus software, anti-ransomware software, and a properly configured firewall.
- Make sure you have a functional, tested, and verified the onsite and offsite backup.
- Get training for you and your staff on safe computing, recognizing bad websites and emails and what to do after encountering a possible threat.
For more information about this particular malware attack, check out CNN or PC Mag.
At eAssist, we always work to protect the security and safety of all of our offices, therefore we’re bringing you this news to help you take necessary actions to keep your data, technology, practice and patients safe. We highly recommend you reach out to Dr. Lorne Levine from The Digital Dentist directly should you have concerns about the security of your technology or systems.