This Root Canal Appreciation Day, ESET wants Canadian dentists to strengthen their cybersecurity
Today is Root Canal Appreciation Day – while we can’t imagine appreciating something that can be so unpleasant, as a Cybersecurity firm what we can praise is taking preventive actions to avoid something truly painful.
Dentistry, along with other medical practices, are undergoing a digital transformation. Dentists use technology to create a better patient experience and more efficient.
Cyber criminals don’t need a whole lot of information to ruin a practice’s good name. One good look at a patient list and a hacker has access to names, addresses, and birthdays. With even this most basic information, data that is left unprotective leaves patients vulnerable to identity theft, burglaries, stalkers and more. Also, if scammers learn the names of those who receive medical treatment at your practice, they could attempt to obtain client insurance information. This information could then be sold to someone who lacks health insurance, who would then pose as a client to obtain treatment.
The potential risks are endless and that is why, as you tell your own patients, prevention is key.
Instead of regular flossing, brushing and maybe a little mouthwash, Tony Anscombe, Chief Security Evangelist with ESET, has a few tips to share that can help protect your practice and digitally secure it from cyber hacks today:
- Perform a risk analysis: Any organization that is serious about cybersecurity should perform a risk analysis to determine both what digital assets are at risk and the level of risk they face.
- Educate employees on cybersecurity The implications of a hack are serious – many offices would be unable to function for more than a few days without access to their data, and some would have to cease functioning immediately. A very encouraging 88 per cent of employees place a strong emphasis on “training on your company’s IT security procedures.” Yet much work remains to be done. Training software is available with ESET and it’s totally free!
- Have a system in place for backing up company files: Until you’re hit with ransomware or suspect insider malicious activity, it’s hard to realize just how important effective backups are. Some software suites even give you the ability to replay file deletion, copy or exfiltration for some extended period of time, in case one of your employees or contractors steals information.
- Have IT Security and anti-virus installed on all devices: This is the most basic security measure a company can take to protect employee and patient data, and most employees would agree.
- Keep testing: Once you’ve been through the previous steps, don’t let your guard down. You need to reevaluate your processes at least once a year or more often during periods of crisis. PRO TIP – Make sure to disable or remove the accounts and access of employees who have left the company.
Tony’s final thoughts on the topic are to share what you know with others in the industry: “No industry is immune to a data breach or ransomware attack. Dental practices that leave data unprotected can expose overall health issues of patients, not to mention the payment, insurance, and personal information dentists collect from their patients, as well as employee information.” He continues, “Do your patients a favour and protect their data like you tell them to diligently take care of their teeth – they will thank you!”
For more security tips, please visit welivesecurity.com.