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Ransomware Attacks: A Growing Threat to Dental Companies and the Importance of Data Backup

August 18, 2023

Written By:

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Rob Stevenson


Ransomware Attacks: A Growing Threat to Dental Companies and the Importance of Data Backup

There’s no doubt that dental companies across the UK have embraced technological advancements to enhance patient care and streamline operations. However, with progress comes new challenges.

One significant concern for UK dentists is the alarming rise in ransomware attacks. These malicious viruses encrypt patient information, holding it hostage until a ransom is paid.

For reputable dental practices, the consequences can be devastating — ranging from financial losses to compromised patient data and damage to the practice’s reputation.

To safeguard patient data, ensure compliance, and avoid downtime, dental practices must now prioritise data backup and implement preventive measures to ensure ransomware attacks don’t impact operations.

Preventing ransomware attacks

Even though ransomware attacks can be highly unpredictable, you can still take several steps to mitigate risks and reduce the impact of an attack.

Just some suggestions include:

1. Educating staff about cybersecurity

Human error is one of the most common causes of data breaches and ransomware infections. This is why regular cybersecurity training for all staff members is advised to help staff recognise (and avoid!) hacking and phishing attempts.

Some tips for this include:

  • Highlighting the importance of safeguarding private information over the phone or via email
  • Stressing the significance of strong and unique passwords
  • Ensuring staff members are aware of vulnerabilities when it comes to sensitive patient information and other critical data

2. Teaming up with cloud backup and data protection specialists

Investing in robust data protection measures is one of the most effective ways to mitigate the risks associated with ransomware attacks and ensure your dental company can continue running smoothly, even in the event of an attack.

For optimal security, we recommend partnering with cloud backup experts who:

  • Specialise in data protection and ransomware defence
  • Have UK or EU-based data centres for the ultimate safety
  • Offer 24/7 customer support to address any concerns or issues promptly
  • Utilise state-of-the-art encryption technology for enhanced data security
  • Offer scalable solutions that can accommodate your dental practice’s growing needs
  • Comply with industry standards and regulations, such as ISO 27001 and GDPR

3. Staying informed and communicating with staff

Staying up-to-date with current cyber events affecting the healthcare sector is vital. In the UK, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) acts as a bridge between industry and government, providing a unified source of advice, guidance, and support on cyber security.

Following updates from the NCSC and communicating these updates with staff and stakeholders can help keep your dental business one step ahead of hackers.

The vital role of data backup in ransomware defence

Regular, scheduled backups

In the event of a ransomware attack, the fast recovery of data is essential for keeping your operations running smoothly. This is why dental practices are advised to perform regular backups, ensuring that in the event of data loss — patient records can be recovered easily and downtime will be minimised.

Cloud backup as an extra layer of protection

Cloud-based backup solutions (particularly those with UK data centres), offer automatic and secure off-site storage. By leveraging reputable cloud backup services, dental practices can access files swiftly, recover data easily, and also protect against disasters such as fires or flooding.

Cybersecurity planning and support

Developing a comprehensive cybersecurity plan that all team members understand and follow is vital for effectively mitigating security risks. With clear backup policies in place, staff can know who to contact in the event of an attack and understand when the professionals should take over to recover your data safely and efficiently.

Choose BackupVault to ensure the ultimate data protection for your dental company

Ransomware attacks are an increasingly prominent threat to dental companies — putting patient data, financial stability, and reputation at risk. Combating such attacks demands advanced security measures, employee education, and a robust data backup strategy.

BackupVault is a leading provider of UK cloud backup services, offering dental practices peace of mind and the confidence to focus on delivering excellent patient care. We know how to back up dental software like Kodak R4 and Software of Excellence (SOE) to ensure you and your patients are safer from ransomware attacks.

To find out more about BackupVault and our solutions, start your FREE 14-day trial or get in touch today.