On November 22, 2019, Dr. Gillespie’s world turned upside down when his practice suffered a ransomware attack. Determined never to fall victim again, once he resolved the breach, he switched his dental software to CurveSuperHero, gaining the peace of mind he sought. As an added bonus, he significantly reduced his monthly software and IT costs from $4,000 a month to $600 a month.
In 2010, Dr. Gillespie opened his first pediatric dental office and saw three patients on Day 1. He chose his location because it was an area that had only two general dentists in an 8-mile radius in which there were 40 schools. Two years later he had grown so fast that he increased from three chairs to eight chairs and added another dentist. He opened a second 13,000 square foot office in 2015 and is currently building a third location in a 5,000 square foot building. All told, he and his partner treat over 10,000 children. And the best part? He’s serving the community where he lived as a child. But it almost ended in 2019.
On November 22, 2019, the Monday of Thanksgiving week, over 100 patients were booked at his two locations. Then disaster struck when all of his computers went down. He immediately called his IT consultant who said they’d be in touch but failed to ever respond. Another dentist he knew who used the same IT company told him his computers were down, too. When he took a closer look at his computer monitor, Dr. Gillespie immediately saw the problem. It was ransomware. He later learned that all 125 clients of his IT company had been attacked. But, at that moment, his biggest problem was he couldn’t access patient records, nor could he see charts. He phoned his IT company again because he had been told they had backups but they did not.
At the time, Dr. Gillespie used Dentrix software but was limited to seeing the office’s schedule and patient phone numbers, so he started calling the parents of his patients to inform them of the issue.
Dr. Gillespie bought new laptops to upload x-rays and asked his IT company for help. They told him to contact his insurance company who put him in touch with Coldware, a go-between for communicating with the cybercriminals. The cybercriminals demanded $5,000 a computer but Coldware advised him to focus only on important devices like servers. Dr. Gillespie identified 11 computers and paid a total of $40k to obtain the keys to unlock his data. He also spent $10,000 on computers, increasing his loss to $50,000, which did not include the financial impact of lost production.
A week later, the cybercriminals released the rest of the keys, which unlocked everything. To follow procedure he hired a forensic team that helped him with the recovery process which entailed taking all information off the server, copying it, running an analysis, and then uploading it back onto the server. He then had to hire another IT company to wipe his computers and reinstall software. Until the fix, he’d used laptops and sensors just to get by. He wasn’t fully back up and running until December 26th.
Dr. Gillespie’s one bit of good fortune was that he had an attorney friend who specialized in cybersecurity and had advised him well before the attack to buy $250,000 in cyber insurance. Had his coverage been less, he would have lost his business. During this entire process, he began thinking about the cloud. After all, his banking was cloud-based; why couldn’t his business be? While he understood that IT companies did not want their clients to go to the cloud because they would lose revenue, he started to look at the numbers. Clearly, it was time to move to the cloud.
When Covid-19 hit, Dr. Gillespie had the opportunity to re-think the purpose of his business, restructure, and reorganize. After all he had been through, he saw a silver lining. Dentistry is resilient and recession proof and if you have the right software, the sky’s the limit.
Curve SuperHero gave him everything he needed to meet the challenge of COVID-19. As overhead continued to rise due to the unexpected costs for N95 and FFP2 respirators, visors, disposable eye protection equipment, and dental supplies became more expensive. The monthly expenses he saved by switching to Curve helped him not only survive, but thrive.
Moving to Curve was a great investment and a very wise decision.
Dr. Gillespie knows firsthand the devastating impact a ransomware attack can have on a dental practice. The fact that it came through his IT company, and he was left on his own to address it, compounded the situation. Now that he uses Curve SuperHero, he has much more
confidence that his data is protected, and that Curve Dental’s support team has his back when he needs it.
It blows my mind that some dentists still use servers.
Until he was breached, Dr. Gillespie thought the traditional server-based software model was sufficient for his needs. But once he completed his deep dive into Curve SuperHero, he realized that his per month savings were substantial and a great addition to the cybersecurity protection Curve provided. Combine that with a robust array of features, a truly user-friendly interface that is easy to learn and train new staff on, and
Dr. Gillespie has the perfect software for his ever-growing practice.