Here we are between Canadian and American Thanksgiving festivities. I must say, I am thankful every day to wake up exactly where I do. For many reasons, but mostly right now for the reliability of our weather patterns.
It is heartbreaking to watch the wrath of Mother Nature unfold on the news, seeing homes buried in mudslides or people wading through waist-deep flooded offices. Hurricanes and wild fires, tornados and volcanoes. Homes, businesses, highways and entire communities demolished… it seems to be increasingly frequent and alarmingly closer to home.
When I watch the news coverage of these events, I can’t help but wonder how many dental practices might be affected. I worry about customers who have not yet made the time for official data backup and disaster recovery measures. Like insurance payouts that help rebuild, accurately backed-up data and system files can help turn a potential disaster into a minor inconvenience.
We have a contingency plan in place. Do you?
Around this time last year, I posted a blog about a couple of dentists whose practices were endangered by sinister ransomware. I reported that the security company McAfee had charted a 165% year-on-year increase in ransomware attacks.
Clearly, this nasty behaviour has not gone away. It is endemic to the point that OntarioMD issued a bulletin to all physicians using Electronic Medical Records systems to be extra-vigilant about security. They’re seeing an escalating trend in ransomware threats and caution that healthcare professionals in particular are being targeted by cybercriminals.
We passed the warning along to our medical customers and want to also share it with our dental customers. The OntarioMD bulletin contains sound advice about how to deal with such a threat and, more important, steps to take to protect your practice in the first place.
Last year’s post had similar tips. Always worth repeating, though, is the reminder that your practice data is your lifeline to the health of your business. Awareness, protection and vigilance are essential for prevention. Maintaining current data and system backup files off site is one great way to thwart cybercriminals and limit ghoulish behaviour to one night per year.