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Mind Your Business

Myth Buster Series: Is your data management software really secure?

April is Oral Health Month. And this year, CDA OASIS is busting myths and tackling topics including pregnancy and dental health, what really erodes enamel, social media, and more! 

Today, we’re talking cyber security for dentists.

True or False? All data management and patient information software includes anti-malware and antivirus protection features that properly safeguard clinic information against cyber attacks.

Answer: Not necessarily.

Not all software (and platforms) have the appropriate security features that are required for your individual dental practice, automatically built-in to their functionality. For instance, a small clinic with one dentist and a small group of staff requires a set of different security requirements than a large office with many dentists and staff.

Dental offices are unique compared to other businesses because they are responsible for securely holding three types of information:

  1. health records
  2. payment card information
  3. personal information

Whatever the software, dentists must ensure it is secure and it protects against more than just viruses. Depending on your needs, you may even need to implement additional software for anti-virus and anti-malware that can stand up to attacks that initiate from browsing the internet or those that come through email. Your practice should also have clearly articulated staff acceptable-use policies.

Remember, cyber security attacks do impact dental offices. Simply being online puts your office and its data at risk.

Cyber Security Tips

  • Use CDA Secure Send to share secure data with other dental health professionals.
  • Hire a third-party IT expert or company to audit your current system and provide security recommendations.
  • Ensure all practice management and any other software running in your office is up to date and patched frequently.
  • Encrypt any data that leaves your office and travels across the internet and never store data backed-up offsite in plain text.
  • Keep data backups in a different location than your computer systems.
  • Test your backups to make sure they actually work in the case of a disaster or loss of information.

Cyber Security Resources for Dentists:

Check out our Cyber Security Series to learn more:

For more information about sharing your practice’s secure data with other dental healthcare professionals, check out our article, Secure Send. Secure Electronic Communications for Canadian Dentists.

We want to hear from you!

Leave a comment about this post in the box below, send your feedback by email or call us at 1-855-716-2747.

Happy Oral Health Month!

CDA Oasis Team


1 Comment

  1. Darrell Pruitt April 24, 2019

    Dear Dean Smith, Manager of IT at CDA: If a patient should ask their dentist whether digital records are more secure than paper, how would you recommend the dentist respond?


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