Computer malware attacks are in the news — especially for health care organizations. A dental practice that’s also a small-to-midsize business (SMB) is the perfect target for ransomware hackers. They know how valuable your confidential dental practice data is to you, so they keep finding new ways to get into your computer network, lock you out, and hold your data ransom.
They’re betting that you have security gaps they can sneak through. And they’re usually right.
SMBs, which include many dental practices, are often targeted because locations may be distributed, and they have insufficient technical skills, tools and network security to detect sophisticated malware attacks.
More than 50 percent of SMBs have fallen victim to ransomwarei, and recovery can be expensive: On average, victims spend almost $880,000 to fix damages and restore data.ii And attacks are on the rise. From January to September 2016, ransomware attacks against businesses increased by 300 percent when compared to all of 2015.iii Chances are good anymore that it’s when and not if you’ll be attacked.
How does ransomware even get into your system? One popular way is phishing, a widely cast email net encouraging readers to click a link or download a file.
A targeted tactic called spear-phishing takes phishing to a whole new level. Imagine that a hacker spends just a little time researching your organization. Perhaps they find out the name of your front desk employee and send her an email that appears to be from a patient with an attached scanned insurance card. When she clicks on the attachment, it unleashes ransomware that immediately spreads throughout your network.
This kind of scenario is becoming increasingly common because it’s so successful for attackers.
As a digital dentist, you know how important it is to keep your practice data secure. But with so many moving pieces in your information technology (IT) infrastructure, if you don’t give your IT constant attention, hackers could exploit vulnerabilities in your network. When you consider possible resulting fines, lost revenue and recovery costs, you can see how one wrong click could potentially shut down a practice.
Thankfully, even if you’re struck by ransomware, you don’t have to lose your data or pay a ransom — if you’re prepared with a layered defense.
Protection against ransomware starts with an enterprise-grade firewall solution, such as WatchGuard, that can prevent, detect and respond to ransomware attacks as they occur. It should also include these layers:
TechCentral by Henry Schein One believes that dentists should be free to do what they’re best at — taking excellent care of their patients — instead of being bogged down with computer issues. TechCentral is a full-service IT solution created for dental organizations, providing everything from servers and software to data backup solutions and remote monitoring and support.
You can gain greater peace of mind and protection from malware with Omnicore, a unique “hardware-as-a-service” offering. Instead of having to purchase and take care of their own networking hardware, customers pay an easy-to-budget monthly fee to TechCentral, who then provides, maintains and monitors the hardware. Because TechCentral retains ownership of the hardware, if anything needs to be replaced, they will automatically take care of it, helping to free you from worries about your system.
Omnicore comes with everything essential to running your practice network, including a WatchGuard firewall and hybrid data backup — all on a low-profile rack that can easily roll into your dental practice.
Now you can put your focus back on your patients and stop stressing about malware attacks and IT problems. Find out if TechCentral Omnicore is right for your practice. Schedule your free technology assessment today by visiting TechCentral.
Certain components of the products or services described above are provided by third parties. Henry Schein One and its affiliates are not responsible for, and expressly disclaim, all liability for damages of any kind arising out of the use of those third-party products or services.
iWhite Paper: Keep Ransomware From Scratching at Your Door, WATCHGUARD TECHNOLOGIES, http://www.watchguard.com/wgrd-resource-center/white-paper/keep-ransomware-from-scratching-at-your-door (last visited Oct 8, 2018), p.2.
iiTECH ADVISORY, as quoted in infographic: Ransombear Is on the Hunt, WATCHGUARD TECHNOLOGIES (2017), http://www.watchguard.com/wgrd-resource-center/ransombear/ransomware-infographic.
iiiWhite Paper: Keep Ransomware From Scratching at Your Door, WATCHGUARD TECHNOLOGIES, http://www.watchguard.com/wgrd-resource-center/white-paper/keep-ransomware-from-scratching-at-your-door (last visited Oct 8, 2018), p.2.