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How Secure Is Your Dental Practice?

As health care professionals, dentists and their staff have an elevated responsibility to protect patient data, as mandated by regulations such as PPIPEDA

How Secure Is Your Dental Practice?

In recent years, high profile data breaches at companies like Home Depot, Sony, eBay, Target and others have shone a bright light on the importance of cyber security. Small business owners are also vulnerable. As health care professionals, dentists and their staff have an elevated responsibility to protect patient data, as mandated by regulations such as the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). Although no business is immune to a breach, there are steps you can take to lessen the chances of an occurrence or mitigate the damages if one should happen.

Dental Practice Protect information, computers and networks — Use the latest versions of your security software, web browser, and operating system. Purchase anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-spyware software that is regularly updated.

Firewall security — Install a software program or hardware device that monitors and controls external connections to your computer and/or network and prevents outsiders from accessing data.

Anti-Ransomware — Ransomware is a very troublesome type of malware that is attacking business of all sizes. It holds your system or data ‘hostage’ and forces its victims to pay a ransom through certain methods to retrieve their files. Software is available to protect against this threat.

Secure your Wi-Fi network — Make sure it is secure, encrypted, and hidden (ensure the router doesn’t broadcast the network name). Access to the router should be password protected.

Security practices and policies for employees — Establish a consistent practice for handling patient information and other vital data. Create a separate user account for each employee and define appropriate private internet use.

Passwords and authentication — Encourage employees to use strong passwords and change them regularly. Use multi-factor authentication.

Know what to look out for — Consider a workshop by a cyber security company to train staff on danger signals.

Back up important business data — This should occur automatically if possible, or at least weekly if you’re doing it manually, storing the copies either at a secure location offsite or in a secure cloud site.

Protect your web domain — Scammers can acquire information regarding the registered owner of an Internet domain name. Consider opting for a domain registration privacy service.

Make sure your dental software encrypts data properly — Encryption denies access to an interceptor who may attempt to steal information. dental website