Cybercrime is a big problem in the UK, threatening both people and organisations. Despite proof that anyone can be a target, many still believe it won’t happen to them. Cyber-criminals constantly adapt and evolve their tactics, with ransomware being a major driver of cyber-attacks. We strongly recommend reviewing and securing cyber insurance for your dental practice if you haven’t already.
What is Ransomware:
Ransomware is bad software that gets into a company’s computer system. It can happen when someone in the company is fooled, often through an email trick called “phishing,” into putting the bad software on their computer. The bad software then locks up the computers it got into, so you can’t open or use the files. The cybercrimes then ask for money (usually a kind of digital money called cryptocurrency) to unlock your system, and that’s why it’s called ransomware.
There’s another tricky thing cybercriminals do with ransomware called “double extortion.” They not only lock your files but also take your information and threaten to sell or share it with everyone if you don’t pay.
In the UK, the group that looks after data (the Information Commissioner’s Office or ICO) said there were 706 times when ransomware caused problems last year. In 2021, this occurred more than 694 times, as reported by The Guardian. – Who is behind the latest wave of UK ransomware attacks? | Cybercrime | The Guardian)
Further stats on Ransomware attacks within the UK:
- Nearly 3 out of 4 companies infected with ransomware suffer two days or more without access to their files
- According to SonicWall, despite a decline in malware attacks, ransomware volume shot up by 195% in the first half of 2019. The UK was the second most attacked country in the world.
- Databarracks reported a quarter of UK organisations were victims of ransomware in 2020 ( Source – The top 5 ransomware attacks in the UK and their hidden costs (acronis.com))
- Malwarebytes reported the UK received the highest amount of ransomware detections in Europe.
- Ransomware is costing UK companies £346 million per year
- Recovering files from backup and restoring encrypted systems is often easier said than done. According to Intermedia research, nearly three out of four companies infected with ransomware suffer two days or more without access to their files. Around 30% go 5 days or longer without access.
- Ransomware has driven people to commit suicide
5 ways to protect your dental practice from ransomware attacks
1.Educate. Train your staff to be cautious of suspicious emails and delete anything they’re unsure about. Try a simple test to see how they do!
2. Filter. Ransomware often sneaks into computers through emails. Use a good email system (like Hosted Exchange, Gmail, or Office 365) that stops viruses before they reach your inbox. Regular email from your web company may not have the same protection.
3.Protect. It’s better to prevent attacks than deal with them later. Install good antivirus/malware software that actively protects against ransomware. We make sure our contract clients have this security. Basic options like Microsoft Security Essentials, AVG, and Avast might not give enough protection.
4.Backup. Back up your data regularly! If ransomware strikes, the only way to get your data back (without paying a ransom) is from a backup. Make sure your backup process is reliable: get daily backup reports, know what’s being backed up, and test the backup regularly. It’s vital for data security in your practice.
5. Insurance. Secure comprehensive insurance with All Med Pro that gives you options, help, legal advice, and financial protection should you be hit with a ransomware attack
In conclusion, ransomware poses a significant threat to dental practices and various organisations across the UK. The evolving tactics of cyber-criminals, particularly the rise of ransomware and double extortion, emphasise the need for proactive cybersecurity measures. As illustrated by recent statistics, the frequency and impact of ransomware attacks are on the rise, causing financial and operational disruption.
To safeguard your dental practice against ransomware attacks, it’s imperative to take proactive steps. Education and training of staff, implementing email filters, ensuring there is robust antivirus and malware protection in place , maintaining regular backups, and most importantly, securing comprehensive cyber insurance are crucial measures.
Remember, being prepared and protected against ransomware is not an option—it’s a necessity in today’s digital landscape. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and take the necessary steps to protect your dental practice against cyber threats. Your practice’s resilience and security depend on it.
Book your FREE consultation with our expert lead team today All Med Pro (office365.com), you can choose a time and day that best suits you.