The COVID-19 pandemic has had an intense impact on the global economy and healthcare system — including the dental industry. In the early days of the pandemic, dental offices were forced to close except for emergency procedures, while other businesses quickly shifted to a work from home setting to continue their operations.
Cybercriminals were quick to take advantage of the chaos, with global ransomware attacks rising by as much as 148%. Cybersecurity will continue to evolve as the world prepares to enter a post-pandemic era, with cybercriminals and threat actors ready to exploit whatever happens next in 2021.
As businesses and dental practices around the world slowly reopen, here are key cybersecurity trends to watch out for this year.
1. Cybercriminals will continue to focus on remote workers
When businesses shifted to a work from home setup, remote workers became prime targets for cyberattacks, a trend that is expected to continue this year. What makes remote workers enticing targets for cybercriminals is that the former use personal Wi-Fi connection and devices — which are less secure compared to those used in the office — to connect to corporate networks.
2. Improved cybersecurity in healthcare
In 2017, healthcare facilities were hit by a devastating malware called the WannaCry ransomware, which is still doing significant damage today. In fact, according to a report by security solutions company Armis, in the past six months alone, approximately 40% of healthcare facilities experienced a WannaCry ransomware attack.
Healthcare organizations are now exerting more effort to enhance their cybersecurity defenses against all potential threats. Some key factors they need to address are:
- The risks associated with digitalization
- Inadequate cybersecurity policies for using Internet of Things (IoT) devices
- The lack of cybersecurity awareness and best practices
3. Integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) into cybersecurity systems
As cyberthreats continue to evolve, AI and ML will play a vital role in helping your dental practice stay ahead of potential attacks. AI- and ML-driven cybersecurity systems can analyze vast amounts of risk data coming from unstructured and structured resources. These advanced security systems can then provide accurate threat intelligence that your IT team or managed IT services provider (MSP) can use to prepare for or respond to an immediate threat.
4. The rise of cybersecurity process automation
Aside from AI and ML, cybersecurity process automation is slowly gaining popularity as a means to thwart attacks. Hiring an experienced cybersecurity staff is costly, and one solution to this problem is to use inexpensive cybersecurity automation tools. These tools eliminate repetitive security tasks by automating cybersecurity processes using pre-established procedures and rules.
With the help of cybersecurity automation tools, security tasks can be done faster, more efficiently, and with minimal errors. Automation can also speed up threat detection and enhance incident response.
5. Shifting to a secure access service edge (SASE) architecture
Last year, the demand for cloud technology skyrocketed as many businesses shifted to a work from home setup. And with cloud becoming the cornerstone of remote work, traditional local area network- (LAN) based security systems proved inadequate to keep employees safe from cyberattacks. To keep remote workers safe, business owners are shifting to cloud-based security architecture like SASE.
SASE combines wide area networking (WAN) and various network security services like cloud access security broker (CASB), Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS), and zero trust into a single cloud service model. SASE architecture recognizes users and devices, implements policy-based security, and provides secure access to the appropriate data or application regardless of an employee’s location.
With the cybersecurity landscape constantly changing, your ability to keep up with these changes will ensure the safety of your business, employees, and customers from cybercriminals. If you want to keep your dental practice safe from cyberthreats, partner with a trusted MSP like Pact-One. We'll protect your network with multiple layers of security to keep cybercriminals out. Give us a call today to learn more about our dental IT services.