In the past week the American Dental Association has confirmed that they fell victim to a cybersecurity event. There is a banner posted on the home page of the website alerting their members of this continuing situation and asking for their patience as the issue is resolved.
News outlets are consistently reporting the following information related to the incident:
- Web-based chat, email and telephone services were all impacted.
- Some other state association services have also been impacted
- While not confirmed by the ADA, many cybersecurity experts have reported the ransomware attack was executed by a new group, Black Basta. This group is threatening to release sensitive information about members and practices unless their demands are met.
In addition to this reported attack, another healthcare entity Tenet Healthcare, reported the investigation of an incident that impacted some of their acute care operations. Tenet consists of 60 hospitals and 550 outpatient centers.
Healthcare is particularly vulnerable to cybersecurity incidents simply because of the information that is stored electronically AND the dependency on technology to provide safe patient care.
How would you respond if a message popped up on your computer screen that your information has been encrypted or a warning of some sort? Immediate action instead of panic provides the best opportunity to address the threat.
Follow these simple recommendations to reduce the chance of a significant breach:
Once you have taken care of these activities, immediately reach out to your IT expert, whether it is a practice employee or contracted vendor.
Total Medical Compliance (TMC) is dedicated to working with clients to reduce the probability of a cybersecurity incident. Strong policies and procedures, technical safeguards and employee training reduce the overall likelihood of an event which could close your practice AND subject the practice to stiff enforcement activities from the Office of Civil Rights. (OCR).