You have spent years of hard work to become an orthodontist to grow and build a practice and reputation. The negative financial and social implications of a data breach in your orthodontic practice are debilitating. Not only does it take your patients’ trust away from your business, but it also warrants an investigation from the Office of Civil Rights. Your best bet is to make an approach to secure your patients’ data now. Here are the 4 best ways to protect your data which is described below:
- Cloud-based practice management software
Some orthodontists do a better job of protecting their orthodontic practices data than others. Cloud-based practice management systems are designed to provide an additional defense against ransomware.
In the unfortunate event your network is compromised, you know that your patients’ data is protected in the Cloud. Even if all the computers in your practice have been infected, your data in the Cloud will still be there. All you will have to do is connect your computer to the Cloud and continue to view your patient records just as before.
Most Orthodontic Practice servers’ backup patients’ data on a daily basis. If the network gets infected, chances are you will likely lose at least one day of data.
With the best cloud-based practice management system, your orthodontic practice’s data is backed up after every change, which minimizes the chances of losing any information.
- Switch to a modern practice management software
Modern and advanced practice management software store patient images, x-rays, and other files within their database. This offers you extra protection from extraction viruses and malware.
One easy way to conceal or hide your patient files from the cyberattacks is to use a different file extension so that the malicious software uses the wrong program to open the file, resulting in an error. For this reason, be sure to find practice management software with its own word processor and template editor.
- Conduct a Cybersecurity audit
A network needs to have vulnerabilities for a data breach to occur. These vulnerabilities include; weak passwords, outdated operating systems, unpatched operating systems, outdated equipment, improperly configured firewalls, insecure network protocols, and open ports on the firewalls or computers.
During an audit, the cybersecurity company will use sophisticated technologies and tools to search for search weaknesses on your network that hackers may use to exploit. The companies use advanced vulnerability-scanning tools to gather information and run tests against devices searching for ”open doors and windows”.
- Awareness Training on Orthodontic Practice Data
The most vulnerable components of a network are usually the people using it- the staff and the orthodontist. Cybercriminals have begun to relying increasingly on human beings making mistakes social engineering called ”hacking the human.”
This prominent security factor is usually the least discussed, yet the most important in data protection. Research shows that you can reduce your cyber-attacks up to 50 to 75% just by properly training your staff.
Make sure that your team is trained especially against spearfishing which is designed to trick an email recipient into opening an email and downloading an attachment or following a link that appears to have come from someone they know or trust.
In addition, according to the HIPAA Security Rule, which requires Physicians to protect individuals’ electric personal health information, all practices are required to undergo cybersecurity awareness training that will help reduce the chances of human error and therefore minimize the risk of being exposed to a cybersecurity attack. Here you can read all about data protection.