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Why is Cybersecurity for Dental Practices a Priority?

Over the last 20 years, the technology used in dental practice has evolved significantly. And with the increased use of advanced technology, concerns regarding cybersecurity have also emerged. Software like practice management software, electronic health records (EHRs), and electronic medical records (EMRs) make the dental office workflow more efficient. But they are also vulnerable to attacks, making it more important than ever for a dental office to focus on cybersecurity. Here are some critical reasons why dental offices should invest in robust cybersecurity.

The Attackers Have Become More Sophisticated

You may think that the anti-virus software and internet firewall are enough to protect the software and systems of your office. But remember that the number of data breaches has increased at an exponential rate. Why is that if all you need is a firewall and antivirus software?

As healthcare sectors are using more technology than ever, hackers have shifted their focus on this sector. Practices across the world are being exploited by malware and ransomware attackers. The attackers have become sophisticated, and merely firewall and anti-virus systems are not enough to stop them. Instead, dental offices need to take a comprehensive approach to create a powerful cybersecurity strategy.

Dental Offices Have Massive Amount Of Data

Another reason why dental offices reinforce their cybersecurity is because of the sheer volume of the data they hold. Patients share a lot of personal information with these offices like name, address, contact information, health history, banking information, social security number, etc. The nature of data makes dental practices an important target for attackers who leverage personal data for malicious purposes. Additionally, the government is conducting renewed HIPAA privacy as well as security audits; dental offices must be ready to authenticate that they can protect patients’ data.

A Cyber Security Breach Can Be Detrimental

The aftermath of a cyber-attack leads to significant damages. Dental offices could be dealing with millions of dollars in loss. Along with financial consequences, these attacks put a dent in the reputation of the practitioners. And it can have an impact on the reputation and reliability of the doctor. How can patients trust practitioners who cannot protect their information?

Cyber Attacks Are More Frequent On Small Office

You will be surprised to know that hackers generally prefer smaller practices for a wide number of reasons. Staff in small offices may not be trained with regard to information security. These offices generally do not have the right staff security policies enforced for protection. Additionally, these offices are also less likely to have a firewall in place. And the lack of IT expertise in small dental offices proves beneficial to the attackers.

The Bottom Line

Cybersecurity is something that needs to be taken seriously by all dental offices, irrespective of the size. With a growing number of cyberattacks, dental offices should be prepared for the attack at all times. The threat is always there in the healthcare landscape due to the kind of sensitive data that it holds. The more proactive dental offices, the better they can protect their patients and themselves from cyber attacks.

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