Your practice and its data is a target for cybercriminals. Research indicates patient health information (PHI) can be 10 to 20 times more valuable on the black market than credit card numbers.1
Understand the Risks
Without a combination of proper security protections, your practice is at risk:
- Financial penalties: violating HIPAA regulations can result in penalties from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars.
- Patient loss: In an August 2013 Harris Interactive survey, 40% would look for a new dentist if their personal information was stolen from their current dentist.2
Multiple Security Solutions
Integrating a combination of security solutions provides robust protection for your practice. Below is a list of recommended security solutions you should use.
#1 Keep Your Hardware and Operating Systems Up-to-date. Old or outdated hardware and operating systems expose your data to cyberattacks. Last year, Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP, and later this year, it will stop supporting Windows Server 2003. Cyber attackers who find new vulnerabilities in these operating systems can exploit them.
If you are still running Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, now is the time
#2 Enable Data Backup. Make sure your data backup solution will encrypt the data, store the data both locally and off-site, restore the data, and perform regular tests to ensure that everything is functioning properly. Employing regular data backup can protect critical business applications by:
- Minimizing down time: Allows you to quickly resume productivity if something goes wrong.
- Creating a more efficient practice: Saves you time and hard drive space with smart incremental backup.
- Protecting against data loss: Performs partial data recovery (PDR) or disaster data recovery (DDR) after disaster.
#3 Employ Data Encryption. One way to protect against a data breach is to employ full disk encryption where access is restricted unless you have an encryption key. The article “Multi-layered Security: The Best Defense,” published in the Winter 2014 issue of Dentrix Magazine, provides detailed information about the type of encryption dental practices should use. Read it online at: www.dentrix.com/training/dentrix-magazine.
#4 Firewalls, Anti-virus, and Remote System Monitoring. The following solutions should also be part of your protected practice:
- Internet Firewall Security: Provides secure access to the practice network and data from across the Internet. Effective firewalls can block malicious Web software and filter inappropriate or offensive Web content.
- Anti-virus Software: Delivers real-time, continual protection for all of your computers.
- Remote System Monitoring: Detects and reports hardware and software status, performance issues and vulnerabilities that could affect your practice.
Seek Advice on How to Protect Your Practice
If you are unsure how to protect your practice, ask an expert. Henry Schein TechCentral can perform a security assessment to identify areas in your practice that can be strengthened. Later this year, Henry Schein TechCentral will release a new cloud backup solution and data encryption for new servers. Trust the tech experts to help evaluate your practice and recommend the right equipment to meet your needs.
Contact Henry Schein TechCentral at 877-483-0382, or visit us on the Web at www.HenryScheinTechCentral.com.
1 www.healthlawoffices.com/medical-records-worth-credit-cards-hackers/; www.cnbc.com/id/101708255#