Most people feel anxious to visit their dentists and avoid the appointments. This is because people are afraid of the drills and needles. According to the reports of the American Dental Association, more than one in every five adults have not visited their dentist’s offices in more than a year. However, visits to the dentist’s office have become more frequent, thanks to technological advancements. The latest technology has helped in alleviating people’s fears by minimizing discomfort and speeding up recovery. But these advances have increased the chances of cyber security attacks. Let us take a look at the potential cyber security risks associated with these advancements in dentistry.
Cybersecurity Risks In Dentistry
Cyber attackers are not afraid of the dentist’s office. A cyber attack in Colorado left hundreds of dental practices without patient data. This is a part of the trend which involves a series of ransomware attacks on health care practitioners. The purpose behind this is to collect patient data, including payment and social security information that are sold on the dark web.
The devices that help increase patients’ comfort are the same devices that increase the risk of cyberattacks. These devices are hacked, which leads to a gateway to the network. And hacking into these devices is not difficult. Most of these devices are not secured. Dentists do not prioritize the security of these devices. Most of their devices are vulnerable to the exploits of cyber security attackers.
The risks of these cyberattacks cannot be understated. The cost of a data breach can be very high. It amounts to up to $400 for every compromised patient record. Therefore, the expenses of cleaning up this breach can be in millions. Most small practices will end up getting closed because of data breach cleaning. Moreover, it also hampers the dentist’s reputation and causes anxiety and stress in the patients who undergo potential threats of identity theft.
What Can Be Done?
Let us discuss some of the measures you can undertake to protect your dental practice.
1. Prioritize Security For Everyone In Your Team
Your employees are the most vulnerable to cyberattacks. But they are also your frontline defense from these attacks. Your team members use the network daily. Any mistake by one single employee can open the gateway for a security breach. Cyber attackers know how to take advantage of human error.
You need to make your employees aware of the potential cyber security attacks. You can reduce cyber security risks through the two-step authentication of passwords. Use encrypted passwords and follow the stringent requirements for setting a password. You should also teach safety guidelines to remote workers. Place the computers in a manner that non-employees are unable to see the screens.
2. Professional Cyber Security Risk Assessment
Get a reliable security analysis team to conduct an audit of your security requirements. Make sure that all the cyber security protocols are being followed. It will include checking if the firewalls are in place and if the wireless networks are protected from public view. Antivirus software must be installed on every device. Here are 10 Tips To Maintaining Cybersecurity in Dentistry
3. Disaster Recovery Plan
You should make a disaster recovery plan to be implemented if your dental practice is under cyber attacks. One risk aversion method involves purchasing cyber security insurance. You should keep seeking support from professional IT and security support. This will ensure that you have access to the relevant tools to protect from cyber security attacks.
Cyber attacks on dental practices have increased over the years. Hacking into the networks and collecting patient data to be sold on the dark web has become typical practices. Therefore, cyber security is the need of the hour.