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Lightning Strikes, Ransomware, and Electronic HIPAA Violations

Are You Protected Against Cyber-Attacks?

It’s not a matter of if…but when. These are the words that any healthcare professional is bound to hear throughout their career in regards to cyber-attacks, ransomware, and electronic HIPAA violations. Malicious or criminal attacks account for 48% of data breaches in the United States which includes hacking, viruses and malware, phishing, spear phishing and network intrusion. Additionally, no matter what state you decide to practice in, 47 out of 50 states require breach notifications. As a dental student, you need to understand cyber risks, ransomware and how dental malpractice insurance can protect you.

What are the cyber risks for healthcare?

Ransomware and hackers have the ability to gain access to not only lock you out of your own computer, but they can also steal your patient files. If ransomware occurs, your office cannot properly operate without your computer system or patient files. So using something similar to Zonealarm ransomware protection can help limit the risks of this happening. It would be in the best interest of the company and also for patient confidentiality. Ransomware hackers have the ability to stay in your system for months and can steal data at any time. Even if you pay the ransom the first time, they will come back for more money after stealing additional files. Examples of companies that were hacked include Anthem Insurance with a loss of 80 million patient files and Premera with a loss of 11 million patient files.

Why would a dental office be a target?

I know you’re thinking, why would they target me? But the statistics are revealing:

  • Stolen health credentials are worth $10 per patient
  • Most offices have 1,000 to 2,000 active files
  • Information is then used to create fake IDs
  • Fake IDs can be used to submit fake claims to insurers and get prescription medications

How can I prevent this from happening?

$80K is the median claim payout for a covered dental cyber claim. Will you be able to cover that cost plus any additional costs if it happens to your office? While data breaches can occur even with the best possible cyber security in place, you can protect yourself by purchasing a cyber insurance policy. A cyber insurance policy will cover forensic IT to determine the cause of the breach and the number of patient files affected; the legal aspect to cover notifying patients that have been breached; public relations and crisis management; and risk management services. Make sure you protect yourself from cyber threats with cyber insurance.

Why do you need Malpractice Insurance?

Cyber coverage is just one important coverage that is offered to protect your practice. The Professional Protector Plan for Dentists is here to protect you, your patients, your employees, your assets, and your reputation from dental school to retirement. We offer a student liability policy for dental school training, externships, and volunteer/MOM events for only $25 per year. We also offer a student equipment policy for lost or stolen dental equipment, supplies and textbooks for $100 per year. And, once you have graduated, we can offer you a claims-made policy for only $50! Check out www.protectorplan.com for more details and to buy online!

~Randy Flem, Professional Protector Plan for Dentists® State Administrator

This content is sponsored and does not necessarily reflect the views of ASDA.

Professional Protector Plan® for Dentists

The Professional Protector Plan® has been committed to serving dentist’s practice needs nationwide since 1969, providing complete dental school and dental practice protection to dental students and practicing dentists through professional liability, general liability, worker's compensation and property insurance products.

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