Practice Good Security Hygiene

You probably don’t think so, but your dental practice is ripe for hacking.

“But I’m not a Target – or anyone WikiLeaks would be interested in,” you say. Most small and medium businesses (SMBs) have this mindset.

A joint McAfee/Office Depot survey from 2013 revealed a smugness about security:

  • 77% responded that they hadn’t been hacked
  • 66% felt confident in the security of their data and devices

Research and reality indicate this smug feeling of security is misplaced. And, while companies are becoming more aware of the need for security, SMBs continue to lag behind (at least in our experience). Read on to discover why you should focus on good security hygiene.

Small Company = Fewer Resources

Imagine you’re a hacker. Which system would you rather attempt to penetrate – a Fortune 2000 company that spends millions of dollars on cutting edge security or the local business who’s cousin’s-sister’s-brother-in-law manages their IT network?

I know whom I’d target.

And statistics show this too.

A Verizon 2012 Data Breach Report showed that 72% of the data breaches that Verizon investigated were for companies with fewer than 100 employees. The Verizon study also found:

  • Just 9% of SMBs use endpoint/mobile device security
  • 80% don’t use data protection
  • Less than 50% have email security
  • About half secure their Internet use
  • 45% of SMBs don’t secure company data on employees’ personal devices
  • 14% of SMBs have no security measures at all

A 2013 survey from the National Small Business Association reveals that 44% of small businesses have been victimized by cyberattacks. The average cost per attack was $8,700.

Don’t be part of this low-hanging fruit that hackers are looking to pluck. Dental offices, in particular, contain a wealth of protected health information (PHI), not to mention personal details and financial information.

What should you do?

SMB Security Tips

The most important tip I can give you is to have a security plan. And I hope I’ve convinced you that you need to think about information and network security. Of course, there is no such thing as perfect security, but you can make it harder to be hacked by taking these common sense actions:

  • Include all of your office equipment in your security profile – laptops and PCs of course, but also network equipment such as wireless access points, switches, and routers.
  • Stay current – update virus protections and install patches. Scan computers and devices for bugs, viruses, and malware occasionally.
  • Restrict access to websites, such as file sharing sites, to block unauthorized distribution of data.
  • Don’t be punitive – encourage staff to contact IT if they think they’ve accidentally opened a spam email.
  • Strong passwords – don’t write passwords down on sticky notes on your PC or copier. Use best practices to create passwords – change them frequently, have requirements for length and complexity, etc.

And, if you’re now a little worried that your cousin’s-sister’s-brother-in-law is handling your IT network and security, managed service providers can secure your network and information. Checkout our eBook on the  Top 5 Benefits of Proactive Maintenance.

Contact us to find out more.

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