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Are you protected from data breach?

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  Posted by: The Probe      24th February 2021

It’s no understatement to say that the shift to digital dentistry has completely revolutionised the way we work. Far gone are the days of endless papers and charts, and now most of the straightforward things we do in practice can be achieved with just the click of a button.

However, this has come with its downsides too, and while technology advances at an astonishing rate, it’s easy to forget how absolutely vital it is to ensure that you are keeping this data safe.

I was recently appalled when I stumbled across an article detailing how Dental Care Alliance, a dental support organisation in America, recently had a data breach that affected over a million people.[i] In July of this year there was even a breach of details at the BDA.

In the American attack, it was found that hackers were able to access bank account numbers, and although it has been suggested that none of this stolen data was used maliciously, it’s still a very stark warning of what could happen to any dental practice if we let our defences down.

As such, it’s a good idea to think about how to protect patient data in your practice and what measures you have in place to defend against hackers and scammers.

First of all, one simple way to keep computer systems protected is to ensure that they are up to date. Updates from software manufacturers often include information on the latest threats and viruses, so keeping computers up to date helps to keep defences high. It’s foolhardy not to invest in the best anti-virus software.

Another important thing to do is to educate all staff against the threats of phishing emails and other common methods hackers employ to trick people. Phishing is one of the most common forms of cyber attack, and is thought to be behind 22% of all data breaches in 2019.[ii]

Phishing scams are usually sent via email and are disguised to look like they are from sites you use regularly. If you click a link in these emails it can infect your computer with malware or access important information such as bank account or card details, both of which could lead to significant problems.

Another way to keep patient data safe is to store this information in The Cloud via a solid practice management system. The Cloud makes recovering any lost data easy and because this is a remote, encrypted place to store files, it is much more secure against data breaches.

In the end, cyber security is incredibly important, and this is something we need to keep at the forefront of our minds moving forwards, especially as more and more aspects of our working lives move online. An easy way to keep up to date is to schedule regular cyber security meetings with professionals for your team who can talk you through the latest threats and how best to keep safe. This way you can ensure everyone is on the same page.


For further information please call EndoCare on 020 7224 0999

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[i] Info Security Group. One Million US Dental Patients Impacted by Data Breach. Link: [Last accessed December 20].

[ii] Tessian. Most-Know Phishing Statistics: Updated 2020. Link: [Last accessed December 20].

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