The Importance of a Layered Defense in Your Dental Practice

The chief asset you have as a dentist isn’t your office or even equipment — it’s your patient data. Imagine how devastating it would be if you lost all your data: patient records, financial and accounting information, payroll, inventory and more. Unfortunately, it’s possible to lose it all in an instant.

Think about all the ways your practice data could be at risk: equipment failure, fire and water, theft and more. One especially deadly hazard, a data breach from just one wrong mouse click, could be devastating to your patients’ security as well as your financial stability. Along with losing income from patient attrition due to a damaged reputation, you could also face additional financial damage from large fines.

The key to protecting yourself from the nightmare of data loss is a layered defense. While no single defense can protect your patient data completely from computer attacks, the more layers of security you have, the higher the chance of catching an advanced threat that other layers may have missed. When used as part of your comprehensive data security program, antivirus/anti-spam software and a firewall, encryption services, redundant backup and a tool to help guide you through the requirements of HIPAA, can help to better protect your practice.

  • Layer 1: Network Security
    You probably already have antivirus or anti-spam software. That’s a great first line of defense — when it’s kept current. However, you need a firewall for additional network security to provide another layer of defense to help protect valuable patient health information (PHI), confidential information and transaction data from hackers. For a more comprehensive solution, start with your antivirus software, and then add a robust firewall appliance like the WatchGuard all-in-one network security solution.
  • Layer 2: Encryption Services
    To further protect against data theft, you need to encrypt your practice data so that if your server is ever lost or stolen, thieves can’t access your sensitive information even if the drive is moved to another machine. Encrypting the hard drive of your server with the latest Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) (as of this writing, AES 256-bit encryption) helps provide another layer to protect your data at rest from anyone who does not have your unique key.
  • Layer 3: Redundant Backup Services
    Are you prepared for disaster or data loss due to theft, fire or water damage? To help protect yourself with an additional layer, you should keep redundant copies of your valuable data in two protected locations. A redundant, remotely managed backup and recovery solution should keep your data encrypted with AES-256 encryption, both on the local backup device and on the cloud server. This helps to minimize human error, and should disaster strike your practice, recovery of your data is quicker and more certain.

With a multilayered defense, you can help guard your practice against different types of data loss. TechCentral can help you safeguard your practice data by performing an assessment specific to the dental industry. Request your network assessment online or call 855.310.7265 and take the first step toward a better defense for your most precious asset.

Certain components of the products or services described above are provided by third parties. Henry Schein, Inc. and its affiliates are not responsible for, and expressly disclaim, all liability for damages of any kind arising out of the use of those third party products or services.

Author: Howard Grainger, TechCentral Product Manager
Published: 01/23/2018
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