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Even Small Businesses Can Experience Data Breach

Sears. Delta Airlines. Best Buy. Under Armour. Panera. Whole Foods. These are just some of the companies that experienced a data breach by mid-2018. Unfortunately, data breaches are not going to end any time soon. As our society becomes data entrenched, more bad guys will seek to exploit the trend.

And according to a 2018 report by Verizon, 58 percent of malware attack victims are small businesses.

Instead of pretending you and your practice are immune, it makes sense to look at potential areas of vulnerability. Then you can protect what you can and put a plan in place to respond quickly if necessary.

  • Ransomware attacks are one of the most common external breaches.
  • Hackers are not the only ones responsible: disgruntled employees or previous employees can create havoc.
  • Make sure all visitors, contractors and others sign in when entering the premises and that they are being watched, either physically by employees or by security cameras.
  • Be prepared to respond quickly when a breach occurs. Contact law enforcement and determine the potential scope of the breach.
  • Having processes, procedures and technology in place helps reduce the chance of a data breach. If a breach does occur, a cyber liability insurance policy may provide coverage to help offset the cost of contacting patients whose information may have been affected.

Recently, while conducting a risk management seminar at a dental college, we discussed patient health information and a dentist's duties under HIPAA. It was a good opportunity to discuss data breach (also called cyber liability) insurance, a coverage many dentists may not realize they need.

Increased government regulations have placed more responsibility on businesses to protect clients’ personal information. Medical data theft is on the rise, with reports of such theft doubling in the last four years. In the event of a data breach, you may incur:

  • Fines and penalties
  • Security fixes
  • Identity theft protection for the affected patients
  • Possible legal action

Even if you don’t transmit personal data over the Internet but still store it (in electronic or paper form), your dental practice could be susceptible to breaches through data lost to unauthorized employee access or hardware theft.

Data breach insurance can help defray the costs of a data breach or even an attempted breach. The coverage can assist with mitigating and protecting from loss. It may also assist with the cost of notifying the patients affected and assist with security after the incident occurs.

PSIC’s dental malpractice insurance coverage includes cyber liability coverage that provides a $50,000 aggregate limit for nine coverage levels. To find out more about this coverage, contact a PSIC dental representative

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