In order to avoid data breaches, clinics must use the most recent versions of their available dental enterprise software. This is imperative, as the costs associated with dental records being stolen can include not only lawsuits but loss of business as well. Even small companies are at risk for a data breach, according to the LA Times.
"We are absolutely facing an epidemic of attacks on our nation's infrastructure and attempts to gain access to information," said Jason Oxman, chief executive of the Electronic Transactions Association. "But smaller merchants tend to be easier and more attractive targets for cyber criminals."
Clinics with dentists who don't know how to use their dental software properly or have dental software that is not intuitive are at risk for using it wrong. If data is stored in a way that is easy to hack, or if records are easily stolen, then the clinic becomes a target simply because it would be easy to steal the records and sell the information to identity thieves.
Even small companies at risk for breach
Every organization is at risk, whether a hospital or simply a dental clinic. Recently, the data belonging to a urology clinic in Arizona experienced a breach, according to Tuscon News Now. Over 3,000 patients have been notified their data was compromised. In this case, the clinic neglected to remove labels from urine sample cups. The information included patient names and dates of birth.
More serious hacks can include patients' social security and credit card numbers, according to the LA Times. Earlier this year, a wine shop was hacked, and cybercriminals stole credit card numbers and expiration dates from its online database. Immediately, the company was given bad reviews on yelp and otherwise shunned.
"Customers tend to be like family to us," said Heather Ryon, manager of the shop's wine club. "We'd hate for anybody to feel like they've been betrayed by us."
"It's an era of fraud," she added.
Protecting yourself and your clinic
Even though only a few of the customers were affected, the wine shop itself felt a strong backlash. The best way to avoid even the smallest data leak in the oral health sector is to ensure that new hires at clinics have been properly trained with professional dental software. In today's world, the risks of doing nothing are far too great.