Unfortunately, cybercriminals are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to target businesses of all sizes by launching cyber-attacks and phishing campaigns. Dental practices continue to be at high risk during this pandemic. Despite many practices being closed, systems are still running – many unmonitored.
Cyber-attacks launched against dental practices have resulted in stolen, inaccessible or destroyed patient electronic health information, the unavailability of websites, servers and email systems, disabled or disrupted telephone communications and the cancellation or delay of scheduled appointments. As the rapid emergence of COVID-19 within the U.S. has already begun to place a strain on practices, disruptive cyber-attacks could potentially further delay the ability to regain practice normalcy.
As you make decisions about your practice and the potential for long-term closures, please consider the following mitigation strategies to reduce the risk of a potentially crippling cyber-attack.
- Data Backup. Backup all practice data both locally and in the cloud; contact our Professional Services Division to discuss our new service, DenTech Complete.
- Phishing Attacks. Alert your team members working remotely to be extremely careful when opening any emails related to COVID-19, anything sent from a familiar source asking for “a favor,” unusual addresses.
- Fake links. Be cautious of links to COVID-19 maps, government/state agencies, document downloads or healthcare institutions/hospitals offering information regarding COVID-19.
The WDAISC will be hosting a panel of experts speaking on “Cyber Threats, HIPAA, IT Security and Your Practice” on June 19, beginning at 8 a.m. This event was originally slated to be held at the Monona Terrace in Madison, but has been changed to an interactive webinar – free of charge. Watch for communications regarding this event on WDA.org and in your e-communications from both the WDA and the WDAISC.