We live in a digital world that uses terms we would have once associated with the realm of science fiction. Among these terms is Cyberattack, a very real threat to individuals and companies everywhere. These attacks take many forms but are all aimed at achieving one goal, capturing private and sensitive information. It’s essential that patients like you know that your information is safe with your dental provider and that you know how to protect yourself as well. Below we’re going to cover some important ways that your practice ensures that your personal information is safe from cybercriminals.
What Are CyberAttacks, and How Can They Be Prevented?
Cyberattacks are methods used by cybercriminals to obtain access to valuable and confidential information or money. These attacks take several forms but typically involve some form of software, or virus, that infiltrates a system. Cyberattacks have existed prior to the advent of the internet but have become far more common since. Further, these attacks have become more sophisticated as new technologies and techniques are developed. However, it’s also important to know that you don’t have to download or install anything to fall victim to cyberattacks. The two most common forms are listed below:
- Ransomware: Malicious software that locks up a system and access to its data until a ransom is paid to the source of the ransomware.
- Phishing: This involves creating emails that appear to be from legitimate sources. However, they are scams aimed at collecting personal data, including SSN, credit card numbers, and passwords.
While phishing was the most prominent form of Cyberattack for many years, that paradigm is shifting. Ransomware has become the new preferred method by most cybercriminals, becoming a new business model for cybercrime. The damage resulting from this kind of attack is significant, amounting to over $20 billion in 2021 alone. Medical and dental practices are rich sources of confidential information in many forms, making them a prime target for attack.
Your provider uses multiple methods to defend its system against infiltration. They work hard to build robust systems that ensure they know where critical data is being stored. Vendors and partner companies are carefully vetted to ensure they’re legitimate, and regular security checks are done to ensure their systems are airtight.
Preventing these infiltrations is an ongoing battle that requires constant attention and vigilance. It’s a small price to pay to ensure that patients like you have their information protected. The security of your sensitive information is important.
What You Can Do To Help
Preventing the invasion of systems and protecting your information requires everyone to get involved. For your part, this means ensuring that you use a secure password consisting of numbers, letters, and symbols for your patient portal. These passwords must be unique to ensure the greatest degree of protection. You also need to be careful when responding or interacting with emails to ensure they are from who they say they’re from. Weak passwords and phishing techniques are the most common ways these cybercriminals gain access to protected systems.