Ransomware attacks hit hundreds of dental offices

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Cyber attacks are hitting dentist offices across the country. Hackers are cutting off access to patient information, everything from x-rays to payments. 

In this particular case a back up company that provides support for dental offices was compromised. As a result, patient files were locked, and dental offices had to pay a ransom to recover that information.

Ted Mason has been a dentist for 32 years. 

His greatest fear is losing the work he loves. Although his practice hasn't been hit by this recent round of hackers, he knows what it's like to lose information.

"We did lose a hard drive one time and lost 3 weeks worth of data, and it took us months to put it back together. We spend a lot of time and money keeping things in place to prevent that kind of attack."

Mason remembers the simpler days, when everything was pen and paper, and he says these technological advancements come with a price tag.

"When I started my practice back in 1986 we had paper charts and we had regular film based x-ray, and paper appointment books. Now everything is on a computer. The complexity as far as the infrastructure of the computers and protecting them, has gotten significantly more complicated," says Mason.

Mason's practice just had their IT support come in to monitor their cyber security, and found out that their firewall is not as strong as it could be.

"Now we just have to get out the checkbook and start getting some new stuff."

Shayne Yonce, president of technology specialists, says incidents like this...keeps them on their toes, too.

"We have to build bigger mouse traps just as they continue to do the things they do, we have to investigate and look at better resources and tools," says Yonce.
 

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