Federal agencies warn that a cybersecurity threat from Russia’s war with Ukraine could spill over into other countries affecting U.S. businesses.

The American Dental Association is reminding dental professionals to be on alert for potential cybersecurity threats after federal agencies warned of spillover from Russian cyberattacks in Ukraine.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warned that destructive malware used by Russia to target Ukrainian organizations could make its way out of the conflict area and be used against U.S. businesses.

While there has been no direct threat of a Russian cyberattack in the U.S., CISA and the FBI are asking organizations to increase vigilance and evaluate their capabilities in planning, preparation, detection, and response for cybersecurity threats.

The agencies recommend multifactor authentication for remote logins and setting antivirus and antimalware programs to conduct regular scans.

Businesses should also enable strong spam filters to help prevent phishing emails from reaching users, update all their software, and filter network traffic.

The ADA recommends that dental practices protect themselves from cyberattacks by following good internet security practices, such as keeping systems updated with security patches and ensuring antivirus signature files are current.

It also recommends that dental offices have multiple recent backups that are disconnected (inaccessible) from those systems.

Phishing attacks are often used to gain access to the networks of a practice, with the potential to lead to costly issues for practice owners, and the ADA says that it is an excellent time to remind staff about the dangers of phishing emails.

The ADA also offers tips on protecting dental practices, including a free online course worth one continuing education credit.

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