Deceptive Search Results: Cybersecurity Risk for Dental Practices

Deceptive Search Results: Cybersecurity Risk for Dental Practices

In recent years, ransomware attacks have become one of the most significant cybersecurity threats targeting organizations of all sizes, including dental practices. Hackers have developed new and sophisticated methods to exploit vulnerabilities in company networks, leaving dental practices exposed to significant financial losses. One of the latest tactics being employed is by ransomware access brokers, who are using targeted advertising campaigns to lure unsuspecting businesses into a false sense of security. 

This article will explore the dangers posed by such cybercriminals and provide tips on how you can protect your dental practice from potential threats. By taking proactive steps now, you can ensure your practice data remains secure while focusing on providing quality care for patients.

What is a Ransomware Access Broker?

As businesses fight back against ransomware attacks, so have criminal groups continued to evolve their techniques. The emergence of ransomware access brokers is a new and troubling trend. A ransomware access broker is an individual or group that specializes in providing access to companies' systems and networks that have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by ransomware attackers.  

These brokers usually have a network of hackers who are well-versed in identifying and exploiting security weaknesses in systems. Once access is gained, the brokers sell the information to ransomware attackers who use it to encrypt the company's data and hold it hostage until a ransom is paid. In recent years, ransomware access brokers have become more prevalent as businesses are increasingly targeted by ransomware attacks. The use of these brokers has made it easier for attackers to carry out successful attacks, which not only puts companies at risk but also the individuals whose personal data may be compromised.

Tactics Used by Ransomware Access Brokers: Advertising Campaigns

These ransomware access brokers use tactics that are unsuspecting to individuals and business to access vulnerable systems and infiltrate networks with ransomware attacks. They have found a new way to reach their victims.  

According to Bleeping Computer, these brokers have started using search advertising campaigns, specifically Google Ads, to target both businesses and individuals. These campaigns appear as legitimate advertisements, but they lead to malicious websites that can infect a victim's network with ransomware.


Infographic outlining the three ways to identify deceptive search results including bogus and unsecure websites; misspellings and/or awkward grammar; and downloads or "to good to be true" offers.

Ransomware access brokers have been known to sell access to already-infected networks, but this new tactic allows them to reach more potential targets. It is important for individuals and businesses to remain vigilant and cautious when clicking on advertisements or links, as they may lead to a malicious website. Ransomware access brokers are known to be very skilled in their craft and can effectively target systems that are not sufficiently secured.

Impacts of a Ransomware Attack on Your Dental Practice

The impact of a ransomware attack can be devastating. Not only can it result in significant financial losses for your dental practice, but it can also damage your reputation and erode patient trust.  

According to the 2022 Data Breach Report by Verizon, over 50% of breaches in the healthcare industry during 2022 were due to malware, hacking, and error. All of which are associated with the advertising campaign tactic taking place by ransomware access brokers. It is, therefore, imperative that dental professionals develop and implement effective strategies to mitigate these threats from damaging everything they have worked so hard to build.

Preventing a Ransomware Attack from Crippling Your Dental Practice

As a dental professional, you have spent years growing and building your practice, reputation, and patient's trust. The risks associated with a data breach are real and are something that should not be taken lightly. Therefore, it is important to remain vigilant and invest in effective cybersecurity measures to protect your assets from ransomware and other cyber threats.  

The following cybersecurity solutions can be implemented to prevent a ransomware attack from crippling your dental practice: 

  • Employee Cybersecurity Training: this can include ways to identify unsuspecting tactics
  • Multi-layered Network Security: this can include secure file sharing, vulnerability assessment and analytics, patch management, antivirus and antispam software, email security (archiving, encryption, hosting), data encryption, privacy controls, firewalls, and web protection.
  • Professional IT Support Services: partnering with an experienced dental IT managed service provider can remove the burden of IT by providing you with a team that actively monitors and supports your network.


Ransomware access brokers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their tactics, and it is important for both businesses and individuals to remain vigilant when clicking on advertisements or links. The impact of a ransomware attack can be devastating, therefore dental professionals should invest in effective cybersecurity measures such as employee training, multi-layered network security solutions, and professional IT support services. With the right tools and strategies in place, you can protect your practice from these cyber threats and ensure that your patients' data remains safe. Don't let a ransomware attack cripple your business – act now to safeguard yourself against potential attacks!


Cyber-attacks against dental practices of all sizes happen all the time. Are you a dental professional in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, or Washington seeking a more secure network for your dental practice? Look no further! The Dental IT Experts at Pact-One Solutions offer cybersecurity services tailored to the needs of your practice. Our digital security experts can walk you through what policies, techniques, and technology solutions can keep your practice secure and continue to develop them as your practice grows. 

To learn more about Pact-One’s cybersecurity services, visit

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