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Dangers of the digital dimension – Claus Oustrup

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  Posted by: The Probe      18th December 2018

As the world steadily becomes a more digital landscape, so too do many parts of our daily lives. After all, since the introduction of the internet it seems like there is nothing that we cannot achieve by simply entering a few details online. From shopping for the latest fashions to ordering our food, booking holidays and signing up for the latest news from our favourite brands, our personal data has become the key to an online lifestyle.

Even on social media we have become open with our lives, and a quick look at someone’s profile can tell you where they work, their birthday and their daily routines, down to how many children they have, their favourite television shows and even what they ate for dinner last night.

However, whilst this widespread use of our data can make our lives easier, it also has some dark consequences, many of which may be more significant than you would realise.

Data breaches on the rise

 Countless data breaches have been confirmed by some of the biggest brands and organisations in the last two years, including Adidas, Forever 21 and more recently, Air Canada.[i],[ii]This is concerning news, as not only do breaches of this type mean that hackers have access to financial data such as credit card numbers and postal addresses, but they can then use or sell this data to make even more money. Worryingly, this sort of breach seems to be on the rise, and online security company Security Shape states in their 2018 Credential Spill Report that over 2.3 billion passwords and usernames were stolen from 51 organisations in 2017.[iii]This shows exactly how vulnerable our data can be even when in the hands of companies we trust.

But what does this mean in terms of dentistry? Well, here is where things get interesting. Data breaches across medical and dental services are also heavily on the rise, and according to Protenus (an artificial intelligence system used by top healthcare systems and academic medical centres) 5.6 million patient records were breached in 2017,[iv]allowing hackers to get their hands on data that could be worth a lot more than just money.

Why is medical data attractive to hackers?

In many ways a patient’s medical data is a comprehensive insight into their entire life. Not only does this data reveal the individual’s address and history of addresses, but it also contains details of their financial credentials, any ailments they may have and their family history, all of which can garner big money when sold to the right person. In fact, medical data can be used in multiple ways that can severely affect the individual whose data has been stolen. Fraudsters can easily use this information to create fake IDs to purchase medical supplies and drugs, and they can even use the data to make medical insurance claims, earning money under names which have been stolen from patients and ruining their insurance cover. What makes it worse is that these sorts of breaches are hard to trace, and people whose medical records have been stolen rarely find out until much later.

According to some news reports, medical data could be worth as much as ten times more than simple credit card details – the data has far more uses and appeals to a much wider audience of buyers in law-free spaces such as the Dark Web.[v]

Keeping your patients’ data safe

In light of these worrying statistics, it’s necessary that dental professionals do all in their power to safeguard patient information against invasive attacks from online hackers. Whilst many practice management systems will have some level of security, it’s good to look towards solutions that have been specifically tailored to guard this information. These systems will often have extra security measures in place to ensure that data is kept securely under lock and key.

One such solution is PROPACS from PRO Diagnostics UK. Specifically designed to keep diagnostic radiographs secure by using heavily encrypted security software, PROPACS also offers professionals a host of additional benefits including a specialist radiograph reporting service that can help give professionals peace of mind that their radiographs are being reported on properly.

Protection matters

As digital technology continues to become a larger part of our daily lives it’s important to do all that we can to prevent data hacking and other online threats that may jeopardise our financial security or even safety. By choosing dependable software to store information such as patient radiographs, dental professionals can significantly minimise the chances of a data breach within their practices.

For more information, please visit www.prodiagnostics.co.uk or emailsales@prodiagnostics.co.uk

[i]Business Insider UK. If You Shopped At These 16 Stores In The Last Year, Your Data Might Have Been Stolen. Link: http://uk.businessinsider.com/data-breaches-2018-4/#cheddars-scratch-kitchen-1[Last accessed August 18].

[ii]BBC News. Air Canada App Data Breach Involves Passport Numbers. Link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-45349056[Last accessed August 18].

[iii]Security Shape. 2018 Credential Spill Report. Link: https://info.shapesecurity.com/Get-the-2018-Credential-Spill-Report.html[Last accessed August 18].

[iv]Protenus. 5.6M Patient Records Breached in 2017, as Healthcare Struggles to Proactively Protect Health Data. Link: https://www.protenus.com/press/press-release/56m-patient-records-breached-in-2017-as-healthcare-struggles-to-proactively-protect-health-data[Last accessed August 18].

[v]The Independent. NHS Cyber Attack: Why Stolen Medical Information is so Much More Valuable Than Financial Data. Link: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/nhs-cyber-attack-medical-data-records-stolen-why-so-valuable-to-sell-financial-a7733171.html[Last accessed August 18].

Author:

Claus Oustrup

With Danish origin Claus joined The Queens Royal Guards in Denmark immediately after high school. Following his time in the army his bachelor degree specialising in International Export and Marketing . Claus took up a position with the leading aquaculture company that funded his main thesis with a mandate to set up their Scottish and Irish operations.  Following a successful establishment and integration of the business  in Scotland and Ireland over 1.5 years  Claus was headhunted to a  exciting opportunity  in Far East. Based in Hong Kong as Area Manager for a leading fashion eyewear manufacturer  Claus was covering Distribution and M&A in Asia, Pacific and Duty Free EU and Middle East. After 4 years in Hong Kong Claus moved to Australia and successfully built and sold an import and distribution business  servicing the health care industry. Since then he has invested in PRO which is a  global specialised tele-radiology provider servicing the allied and general health industry where he is also an active partner.

Claus is a dedicated father and husband to his Danish wife and their 6 year old Australian born daughter and 4 year old son. He is also a keen outdoors enthusiast who is passionate about fly fishing, general fitness and a healthy

 


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