Cybersecurity Incident at Alberta Dental Service Corporation: What You Need to Know

On July 9, 2023, a serious cybersecurity incident occurred at the Alberta Dental Service Corporation (ADSC), affecting various dental providers and patients across Alberta. In this blog post, we’ll explore what happened, who was affected, and what dentists should do to protect themselves and their patients.

August 18, 2023
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Anne Genge

Anne is a multi-certified award-winning dental cybersecurity expert in Canada

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What Happened?

The ADSC discovered unauthorized access to their IT infrastructure, where malware was deployed, encrypting certain systems and data. Fortunately, with expert help, the network was secured, and most of the affected data was recovered. The compromise occurred between May 7 and July 9, 2023, with an unauthorized third party copying some data before deploying the malware.

Who Was Affected?

The incident had a widespread impact, affecting different groups:

  • Dental Assistance for Seniors Plan clients: Compromised information includes personal details, dental benefits claims, and possibly bank account numbers.
  • Low-Income Health Benefits Plan clients: Impacted data includes names, birth dates, dental benefits claims, and identification numbers.
  • Dental Services Providers: Corporate details such as names, bank accounts, and license numbers may have been compromised.

These breaches have exposed individuals and organizations to risks like phishing, embarrassment, fraud, and identity theft.

What Dentists Should Do

As dental providers who might be affected, here are the crucial steps you should consider:

  • Change all passwords and credentials that could be the same as the ones just breached. Don’t forget to change your security questions as well.
  • Monitor Accounts Carefully: Regularly check for any unusual activity and notify your bank if something seems amiss.
  • Educate Your Staff: Ensure your team knows how to recognize phishing attempts and encourages them to report any suspicious activities. Get dental cybersecurity awareness training from Myla
  • Update Security Protocols: Strengthen security by implementing robust passwords, multi-factor authentication, secure data backups, and regular software updates.
  • Consult Cybersecurity Experts: Seek professional help to ensure your security measures are adequate. The easiest way is to obtain a Cyber Attack Risk Assessment.
  • Communicate Transparently with Clients: If client data may be at risk, keep them informed and guide them on protective measures.

Moving Forward

The cybersecurity breach at ADSC is a stark reminder of the importance of comprehensive cybersecurity measures within the dental community. While it’s a complex issue, with careful vigilance, ongoing education, and the right actions, it can be managed effectively.

If you’re a dental provider in Alberta, don’t hesitate to take these protective steps. Cybersecurity may be challenging, but it’s an essential part of maintaining the trust and safety of your clients and practice. Remember, we’re all in this together, and by working as a community, we can keep our dental practices secure.

Feel free to share this information with your colleagues and patients, and let’s continue to support one another in maintaining a safe dental care environment.

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