What is Data Breach?


A data breach occurs when secure information is either intentionally or unintentionally released to an environment that is neither trusted nor secure. It can be called many things: data spill, data leak, data hack, and more.

Dental practices stand to lose a great deal when data breaches occur leaving private information about the practice operations, including the practice financials, dental customers, and dental employees exposed. 

Whether the breach is the work of a “black hat” hacker intent on financial gain or the result of a direct attack on your dental practice by competitors or disgruntled current or former employees, customers, etc. it’s best to take swift action to resolve the situation when breaches do occur.

Better yet, take actions to minimize your risk of a data breach.


How Big is the Data Breach Problem?

Since 2005, there have been more than 850 million records breached, according to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. IBM estimates that the average cost for a single cyber attack that’s successfully executed is $300,000. It reports that businesses are attacked roughly two million times each week. Not only does a business suffer lost productivity and revenue as a result of a data breach, but also stands to damage its reputation and brand.

With the rapid integration of mobile technology and the widespread use of tablet devices, mobile phones, and cloud computing in the business world, those numbers are set to increase rapidly.


What are the Most Common Culprits When it Comes to Data Breach?

Data breaches are far more common than any business or industry may realize. As dental practices grow more dependent upon technology, the risks of breaches grows exponentially. For many businesses, it’s not a matter of if a breach will occur, but when.

All dental practices are subject to data breaches today. The most common culprits for making data breaches possible include:

  • Hackers and Malicious Attackers
  • Lost, Stolen, and Misplaced Equipment – such as, laptops, mobile phones, tablet devices, portable thumb drives, and more.
  • Employee Negligence – leaving passwords in locations that are easy to access, failing to update security information, or using common or easy to determine passwords, not changing passwords frequently.
  • Viruses and Malware
  • Web-Based Attacks
  • Inadequate Policies – to reduce the risks of a data breach.

Without policies in place to help reduce the risks for your organization, data breach can be, and frequently is, often a foregone conclusion.


Potential Consequences of Data Breaches

Aside from the obvious consequence of exposed information to the public, there are many other consequences that often occur within the fallout of a data breach. The financial costs can be devastating for dental practices in managing the breach alone. Factor in lawsuits, loss of business, and the reputation hit most firms take as a result of the data breaches and you could have a serious problem on your hands.

Preventing data breaches will always be your best option. Don’t wait until it’s too late to create a preventative plan to avoid data breaches as well as to create an effective response plan for when data breaches occur.