The dental industry is one of the latest industries under attack from dire cybercriminals, with many crooks taking advantage of weaknesses exposed through the pandemic to strike at opportune times. According to the Dental Care Alliance (DCA), a recent cyberattack in October exposed the data of more than 1 million dental patients. Source linked here.
On October 11, the DCA discovered an ongoing attack that had been taking place since September. Upon discovery, they contained the attack within two days, but the attack still managed to expose over one million dental patient records, including addresses, diagnoses, billing information, etc. Following the attack, the Dental Care Alliance began notifying patients whose data may have been exposed during the attack, making it major news in the dental industry. The DCA also took responsibility for reporting the breach to necessary regulatory bodies and the patients potentially affected.
Dental Care Alliance is a dental support organization with affiliations with over 320 practices across 20 states.
Of the 1,004,304 patients potentially affected by the breach, DCA has found zero evidence that patient data was used in any malicious way, easing that concern for practices involved. Lawsuits are still a significant risk for many practices as the breach's full scope continues to be uncovered.
The overall effect of the breach as a whole, and the individual effect on each practice, is still detrimental. The breach is far-reaching, with information regarding dental patient family members potentially at risk, as well as bank accounts belonging to patients in 10% of the cases. While it could have been worse, many practices claim a breach of patient data of any magnitude is a painful violation of the privacy they work so hard to maintain. A breach is a true violation of trust that many practices feel deeply on behalf of their patients.
The DCA states if you have questions regarding the breach, contact your dental provider.
Are you a dental practice with concern regarding this breach or preventing future cybersecurity attacks? PK Tech works with dental practices in the Greater Phoenix Area to secure their networks and patient data and assists with efficient tech solutions specific to the dental industry. If you are interested in assessing your current processes at your practice or have general questions about cybersecurity management, contact PK Tech.