The provision of health care is changing rapidly as providers try to maintain maximum efficiency while navigating a technology-rich climate. As a result of their reliance on electronic data, dental offices have become vulnerable to cyber security threats. The growing volume and sophistication of cyber attacks suggest that dental practices will have to grow increasingly vigilant to ward off these threats. A breach of cyber security will inevitably lead to significant expenses, both financial and reputational, which can wreak havoc on a dental practice.
Many dentists believe that cyber criminals are not a threat to their small dental offices. However, when choosing between a large corporation or bank with security teams and firewalls, or a dental office with no firewall or security team, a dental practice will become the target. In fact, many hackers specifically target small dental offices because they believe small businesses don’t have the resources for sophisticated security devices and do not enforce employee security policies.
Dental practices are becoming targets for cyber criminals more frequently. These offices hold a vast amount of data, including names, health histories, addresses, birthdates, social security numbers, and even banking information of hundreds, if not thousands, of patients. The threat of this information being stolen by a staff member or a cyber criminal is great, and dental practice owners must address this concern before a theft creates a legal nightmare for the practice.