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Dr. Lorne Lavine, founder and president of The Digital Dentist, has more than 30 years invested in the dental and dental technology fields. A graduate of USC, he earned his DMD from Boston University and completed his residency at the Eastman Dental Center in Rochester, N.Y. He received his specialty training at the University of Washington and went into private practice in Vermont until moving to California in 2002 to establish TDD, a company that focuses on the specialized technological and HIPAA needs of the dental community. He can be reached at email@example.com or 866-204-3398.
Part 3 of our 6-part Cybersecurity Series looks at how ransomware can circumvent a firewall.
The first 2 articles of this 6-part series discussed taking a pragmatic approach to dealing with ransomware, the class of viruses I believe are the biggest risk to dental offices now and in the immediate future. Last month’s article looked at firewalls, arguing that the best defense against malware is to prevent it from getting onto your network in the first place.
But what if the virus makes it through that first line of defense? The most common entry point for ransomware is through email, with unpatched operating systems, and software not far behind. If the virus has made it through your perimeter, then you must have systems in place to deal with it before it can do damage. In my experience, there are 4 ways to handle this (you are likely familiar with at least 2 of them):
Ransomware is an existential threat to health care providers and will be for many years to come. Dental practices should not only take reasonable, appropriate steps to prevent ransomware from entering their networks, but they should also have protocols and software in place to deal with any malware that makes it through perimeter firewalls.