As most of you are aware, a recent cyberattack crippled the Colonial Pipeline effectively stopping the flow of petroleum products to southeastern states. Somewhat terrifying, unexpected by many, but eye-opening for everyone. What does this attack and being a dentist have in common? Both are targets of a highly-effective ransomware group called DarkSide. These attacks result in the complete interruption of business operations for 1-2 weeks…oil/fuel for Colonial Pipeline and patient treatment for dental practices. Black Talon Security has, unfortunately, had to interact with DarkSide to recover stolen and encrypted data on numerous occasions.
One of the biggest issues we see in the dental technology space is that practices rely on generalists, your IT company, to protect their practice. Instead, they should be working with specialists, a cybersecurity company who is dedicated to providing advanced security solutions to protect your livelihood. Do you honestly believe your IT vendor has the knowledge and resources to protect you from a threat group that has the capacity to take down our national infrastructure? The answer is NO.
These ransomware threat and data extortion groups do NOT care if you are a dentist or a large corporation such as Colonial. Every business is at risk. In the end, the cyber criminals can easily hit hundreds of dental practices and make $30,000+ per attack...ultimately costing you $100,000+. Over the course of a few weeks, they can walk away with millions of dollars.
In a recent attack against an orthodontic practice, the threat actor indicated that they stole ALL the practice’s data. The doctor did not believe them and asked for proof that they had their data. The threat actor sent us 12 photographs of 12-14 year old children who are patients of the orthodontist. You can only imagine the devastation that this orthodontist felt. He did not want his data sold on the Darkweb and had to pay $30,000 for the decryption and deletion of his data. We all want to believe that this will never happen to us and that our IT company has us protected. Unfortunately, this is just not the case.
Please take this opportunity to really understand the threat landscape and learn from the unfortunate life-changing events that your colleagues have had to endure. You need to change the trajectory of this ransomware pandemic now by engaging with specialists to help you secure your life, your critical patient data, and your practice that you have worked so hard to build.