Ransomware: The Power is in Your Hands

by FDA Services Inc.

Ransomware has become the number one cyber threat to dental offices. The field of cyber security is largely mysterious to those outside of it, even though it has become more important than ever. Below are the best ways to protect your practice.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is an attack that encrypts your files by locking them and then requests an amount of money to recover access to the files. The data may remain on your computer; however, access to these files are not accessible until a ransom payment is made.

How am I exposed to ransomware?

The most common ransomware attacks originate from email links. Other potential attack vectors come through social media interactions (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.).

How do I limit my vulnerability/protect my practice?

Here are a few things to remember to minimize a ransomware attack:

  1. Secure all files with proper protection: Verify that you have the most up-to-date software. This includes software that contains patient files, payroll access, and banking accounts. Avoid disabling automatic updates because developers are constantly working to reduce susceptibility.
  2. Backup files: Security isn’t a product -- it’s a process. Don’t rely on tools like anti-virus protection alone to protect your practice from these brute attacks. As the saying goes, sometimes the best offense is a good defense. Backing up files frequently is the best defense to keep your data inherently safe.
  3. Be Vigilant: Simple errors can cause catastrophic problems. 

To prevent malicious outbreaks:

  • Don’t open suspicious email attachments 
  • Select strong passwords 
  • Minimize password reuse 
  • Use two-factor authentication 
  • Use privacy/security focused software 
  • Backup files frequently 


Prevent extortion. Properly insure your practice.

Cyber liability coverage will protect your practice in the event of ransomware attacks. This includes additional coverages such as:

  • Cyber extortion
  • Cyber terrorism
  • Network security and privacy insurance
  • Multimedia liability
  • Privacy regulatory defense
  • Patient notification and credit monitoring costs
  • Network asset protection

Contact FDA Services to maximize the security for you, your employees, and most importantly, your patients. We will help you determine the proper coverage for your practice.

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