You may be considering or already offering Wi-Fi as a courtesy for your patients. It’s a great idea, and many practices are adding Wi-Fi access in their waiting rooms.
Wi-Fi hotspots are, well, hot. According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI) IP traffic forecast, 63 percent of all Internet traffic will travel over Wi-Fi by 2019.1 The number of public hotspots is exploding, expected by iPass to grow to almost 300 million in 2018.2From the coffee shop to the waiting room, many of your patients want to be virtually connected wherever they go. Just a few years ago, practice visitors were surprised if a Wi-Fi hotspot was available; but as technology becomes more a part of their everyday lives, patients now are frustrated when they can’t stay connected wherever they are. So give them what they want.
Your practice likely has Internet connectivity—maybe even Wi-Fi—so why not add a guest network? Consider these benefits:
While there are many benefits to providing a Wi-Fi hotspot, the downside is that network security attacks are on the rise. It’s important that dental organizations develop a secure wireless strategy to help minimize the risk of hackers stealing their patients’ valuable data.
A hacker can use what is known as a man-in-the-middle attack to intercept keystrokes and capture passwords and other valuable data when people use Wi-Fi. The hacker simply sets up an access point that mimics a legitimate network connection name and tricks a device into joining their network. At that point, the Internet is basically routed through the attacker, who can silently intercept personal data without the user being aware.
Dental practices and other small businesses are hot targets because they may try to get by with inadequate cyber security protection. Last year nearly 50 percent of small businesses were impacted by cyberattacks, with an average cost to the business of more than $20,000 in loss of service and/or stolen credit card or bank account information3.
Installing Wi-Fi in your practice comes with a responsibility to your patients. It’s critical to properly configure your router to help safeguard your practice and patients, and to increase the likelihood that you’ll keep inappropriate websites and malware out. When deploying, upgrading, or managing Wi-Fi access for visitors to your practice, follow these guidelines:
Providing Wi-Fi access can be a great way to help your practice attract customers and build goodwill with current and prospective patients, but a practice can lose thousands of dollars and valuable staff productivity when technology fails or common Internet threats compromise computer systems and data. By thinking ahead and making protection a priority, you can give your patients a perk they appreciate while minimizing cyber risks for yourself and your patient data.
Henry Schein TechCentral offers superior office technology solutions that are optimized and integrated for dental practices. With a single source team of professionals that design, deliver and support computers, networks, phone systems and security solutions, you can trust the tech professionals at TechCentral. To learn more, visit www.HSTechCentral.com/ProtectYourPractice.