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How To Back Up Your Dental Practice’s Data

About 43 percent of cyberattacks hit small businesses – just like your dental practice. However, just 14 percent of small businesses feel their IT service provider is highly effective at protecting them against lost data and other consequences of cyberattacks. Here are some other sobering statistics regarding the vulnerability of your patient data:

  • 60 percent of small business go out of business in the six months following a cyberattack.
  • 48 percent of data security breaches are malicious, while system failures and human error cause the rest.

These numbers raise a big red flag for practices that fail to implement a robust backup strategy.

Why Should a Dental Practice Back Up Their Data?

dental practice computer hacker with a white mask looking at a laptop screen

Dental practices should back up their data due to the nature of the business, to prevent losing patient data and to have an edge over the competition. Data backups are extremely important for tax and HIPAA requirements, as well.

  • HIPAA requirements. Dental practices that use electronic health records must perform regular backups and implement disaster recovery that makes it possible to restore patients’ health information.
  • Human error. You strive to hire competent, reliable office staff, but even the best workers are prone to errors once in a while. If you back up your data, you can recover accidentally deleted or corrupted files.
  • Taxes and auditing. Having a reliable data backup is vital if your practice is audited. The IRS often wants to see invoices and notes to prove your claims.
  • Natural disasters. Backups and disaster recovery plans protect your data if your area is hit by a flood, tornado or hurricane. Once it’s safe to return to your office, you can restore the files from a remote backup site—although you will probably have to buy new equipment first.
  • Cyberattacks. Data loss due to cyberattacks can disable your business. Having a regular backup strategy can prevent catastrophic loss.

Data Backup Basics for Your Jacksonville Dental Practice

Data backups are copies of files from your computer, tablets and other devices. As the above examples show, it’s vitally important to preserve the data and files containing your patient data.

While it’s true that any backup strategy is better than none, not all backup systems are the same. It’s important to choose an IT provider that can fully protect you from losing data or compromising the privacy of your patients. For optimal security, follow the 3-2-1 rule.

  • Keep a minimum of three copies of the data
  • Store data in a minimum of  two formats (tape, cloud, disk)
  • Keep one copy offsite in case of flood, fire, theft, and other disasters

You don’t have to be an IT expert to have an effective backup strategy. However, it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of the most common solutions.

Local and Network Backups

One of the most straightforward ways to complete backup is to store physical copies on other media, including:

  • Hard drives
  • Tape drives
  • Other storage devices connected directly to your systems

Files are typically copied to external drives, hard drives, USB flash drives, and other devices connected to your systems. Local or wide area networks make the backups available when you need them.

Local copies of backups are essential for fast recovery. On the other hand, there is a lot of risk with physical disasters, theft, ransomware and additional threats. So, it’s important to keep remote backups that you can use to recover your files and data when your local devices are compromised. Always keep at least one copy offsite on a backup server or in the cloud.

Cloud Backups

Interior of a large data center storing data for dental practices

Everywhere you turn, you hear new innovations happening in the cloud. However, you may not know exactly how it works or what it has to do with storing your data. The cloud simply refers to running software remotely using the Internet. This works just as well for backups as it does for live systems you rely on to run your practice. Cloud backups are a great option to give you redundancy and security for client and practice information, as well as software and other office solutions vulnerable to attack or damage.


There are a lot of options when it comes to backing up your data. Using multiple methods as described in the 3-2-1 strategy ensures that your data will always be available and protected no matter what happens. For best results, your solution should be easy to use, affordable, continually monitored and well-maintained by IT professionals.

About BrightLink Technology

BrightLink Technology specializes in data backup and security for Dental Practices, so contact us today at (904) 619-1966 for answers to your questions or for an evaluation of your system. Your job is to keep patients smiling beautifully. We want to put a smile on your face with an iron-clad data backup strategy

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