A data breach is a devastating cyberattack where hackers manage to get into your dental office’s network and steal your sensitive patient data. Protecting your dental practice’s data requires both vigilance and technology. Here are tips for protecting your dental office’s data from cyber attacks and other digital security threats.
Backup Your Computer
Backing up your computer is crucial to safeguarding your dental office’s data. All it takes is one cyber attack or software malfunction to lose everything, so you must have a proper backup plan.
Back up your files regularly and consider multiple backup options. For example, you could store them offsite or in a cloud-based service and maintain a local copy in a secure location within your dental practice. Having access to a local copy means you can quickly access any lost data, while the off-site or cloud-based copies give you peace of mind that your information is always secure.
Password Protect Databases
One of the top tips for guarding against a data breach is to use strong passwords. When signing in to your email account, or medical billing company website, make sure to use complex passwords. Use passwords that are at least 16 characters long and include numbers and symbols.
Remember to change passwords regularly. Lastly, put procedures in place so the passwords for different accounts never get mixed up or shared with anyone outside the company. By password protecting your databases, you make it much harder for hackers to access your sensitive information.
Use Necessary Software
Invest in software that will help protect your dental office from cyber attacks. This software should include a firewall, antivirus protection, and malware protection. It is also essential to update these as soon as they come out with new versions of these features. You may be tempted to put off updates to your antivirus software, but with new viruses emerging all the time, it’s crucial to complete all updates as soon as possible.
Encrypt Files and Wireless Signals
Encrypting files means that if someone were to gain access to your files, they would not be able to read them unless they had the key. Encryption makes it difficult for hackers to access your dental information. Encrypt files using an antivirus program or a file encryption program.
Encrypt any type of data transmitted wirelessly to protect it from outside parties’ interference. The data includes patient information, financial records, and internal communications between staff members. Encrypting all wireless signals is another key way to protect against a data breach.
Use Cloud Storage
Utilize cloud storage to keep your dental office’s data safe from a data breach. As mentioned, cloud storage is an excellent way to backup your data and make it accessible anywhere. It’s affordable and easy to use because your providers handle most of the maintenance. Plus, cloud-based storage is less susceptible to ransomware attacks because they aren’t stored on-site.
Consider dental security consulting with experts for the best advice regarding dental data security software and cloud storage.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication means that in addition to a password, you need a second form of identification, such as a fingerprint or code, to log in. Two-factor authentication can be daunting but makes your dental practice’s data more secure.
Choose a two-factor authentication method that will be easy for you and your staff. Make sure the system you choose offers protection from phishing schemes by sending codes over short text messages. Consider using a recovery phone number instead of emails or texts, which are easier to hack into and fake.
Maintain an Organized and Secure Work Area
An organized work area lets you stay organized and quickly find dental data records. Finally, a clean work area looks professional and shows that you care about your practice.
In addition to keeping your work area organized, you should also take steps to secure any physical devices that contain sensitive data, including laptops, smartphones, and even USB drives. Set a secure place for devices so that your team knows where to find them and they aren’t left lying around the office where somebody could walk off with one.
Limit Access to Sensitive Data
Protect your dental practice’s data by limiting access to sensitive data. Prevent data breaches by limiting access to sensitive data by creating user accounts with different levels of access and encrypting sensitive data.
For example, you can have a receptionist account that can only view patient information and a dentist account that can view and edit patient information. Limiting access to sensitive data can help ensure that only authorized personnel have access to it.
The Bottom Line: Safeguarding Your Dental Practice
A little time, effort, and research can go a long way toward safeguarding your dental practice from data breaches and cyber attacks. Keep your patients’ information safe and secure by being aware of the risks and taking steps to mitigate them. Our dental IT support team can help you choose the best dental security antivirus software and storage solution. Contact Erickson Dental Technologies today to get started.