Ransomware is an increasingly popular type of malware that can compromise your dental office.  Ransomware can encrypt your files and demand money to decrypt them. If you take the proper precautions, however, you should be successful in protecting your dental office from ransomware attacks.

If you suspect you’ve already fallen victim to this type of cyber attack, take immediate action and contact IT support immediately for assistance. 

Use Strong Entry and Exit Procedures

Make sure that your office is secure with strong passwords and Wi-Fi security, such as a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Also, make sure to implement strict rules on the type of files allowed in and out of your practice. This can be done by creating file naming conventions for incoming files or restricting specific file types on the computer.

Regularly Back Up Your Data

Backing up your data is one of the most important things you can do as a practice owner, especially if it contains patient information. It is also imperative that you store those backups off-site so they are not affected by ransomware as well.

Keep Your Software Up to Date

Make sure your software is up to date so you do not have to worry about vulnerabilities that can be taken advantage of by hackers. Frequent patches and updates strengthen weak spots in your network.

Implement Strong Security Measures on Mobile Devices

If your staff uses any sort of mobile device to access the internet, implement security measures such as password protection, encryption and blocking certain websites. This will prevent hackers from gaining access to the internet through your mobile devices.

Be Careful with Email Attachments

Make sure that you do not open any suspicious emails or attachments, especially when they are sent from an unknown source. Ransomware is spread through emails with attachments that contain the virus.

Stay Up to Date with Ransomware News

Stay up to date with the latest trends and news in ransomware so that you know what to do if your office is attacked.

Steps to Take If Your Dental Office Experiences a Ransomware Attack

If you notice that your office has been attacked by ransomware,  do not shut down any of your devices. Doing so will only infect other computers on the network and cause more damage to them as well. Here are some things you should do if this ever happens to you:

Contact IT Support Immediately

If you have the technology in place to remove the ransomware, then that is definitely preferred. However, if you do not have this technology, contact your IT support to get them to remove it for you.

Establish Communication Lines

Let your patients know what happened and make sure they are aware of any updates on when their data will be released or returned to them. Work with them so they are not worried that their information is not secure. This also includes updating your privacy notice so they know how you will use their data in the future.

Investigate the Attack

If your staff joins any sort of network for work purposes, such as an email or cloud storage, investigate if it was used to spread the ransomware. You may want to implement stricter network rules if this is the case.

Do Not Pay the Ransom

If you decide to pay the ransom, you are encouraging ransomware attackers to attack more computers and dental offices in the future. Do not give them any money because there is no way of ensuring that your files will be returned after paying. They may also ask for an increased ransom later down the road.

Partner with DMA Tech Solutions

If you think your dental practice has already been attacked by ransomware or if you need to update your cybersecurity, get in touch with DMA Tech Solutions.

We will work closely with you to resolve the issue for your business and take precautions against future threats. Get in touch with our team today!

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