Ransomware Attacks Crippling Dental Practices

Depositphotos 151190506 s 2019

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 helpful tips to protect your practice, please see these additional resources from Dentaltown’s Message Boards or the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

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.

8 Comments
  • Frances Mueller
    Posted at 05:09h, 04 September Reply

    Thank you Bella for writing this up and thank you C level for always making each of us feel important when you acknowledge suggestions. Love working with this amazing group of individuals.

  • Ashley Flynn
    Posted at 19:04h, 10 September Reply

    We deal with a lot of sensitive information over far distances and invisible connections, it is vital for all of us to take cyber security serious. Any information on this topic is always beneficial. Thank you so much for the reminder and information!

  • Jennifer LeChien-Reid
    Posted at 19:59h, 10 September Reply

    Wow! Thanks for the head-up and information

  • Laura Lyons
    Posted at 22:10h, 10 September Reply

    Very informative will save this for future reference

  • Laura Lyons
    Posted at 22:12h, 10 September Reply

    Once again, thank you for all of the helpful information. Will save this for future reference.

  • Madelene Pagan
    Posted at 00:44h, 17 September Reply

    Thanks for the information, very helpful. Thanks for your hard work.

  • kelly semays
    Posted at 00:04h, 23 September Reply

    Great Information 🙂

  • Patricia Escamilla
    Posted at 20:53h, 23 September Reply

    Great article

Post A Comment