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Proactive Monitoring: Is It Worth It?

Proactive Monitoring: Is It Worth It?

The plight of proactive monitoring can be boiled down to this: Things which cannot be seen are easily forgotten.

Dental professionals often overlook the importance of proactive monitoring services, especially when faced with the monetary value for an out of sight, out of mind service.  Certainly, there are fair questions to ask: How does proactive monitoring benefit my practice? Is it worth the cost? I’ve come this far without it, why now? We hear you. This month, let’s dive into the most overlooked and undervalued service offering available to dental professionals: Proactive monitoring.

Common Scenarios

Let’s say your front desk workstation catches a bug from an email that seems routine and unsuspicious. The bug causes no alerts, pop-ups, or any reason for distress as far as your front staff are concerned. But within your network, the new bug has laid the groundwork for a hacker to quietly infiltrate your network, without interruption or cause for suspicion to your staff. In a practice without proactive monitoring, a bug like this can silently wreak havoc without your knowledge for weeks, months, and even years. However, networks with proactive monitoring will be immediately alerted of the suspicious addition to your network, and in many cases, automatically dispose of this bug; eliminating the entire scenario without your practice realizing what just occurred.

Here’s another common scenario: Your practice’s server experiences a failure in the late evening hours after closing for the day. Without proactive monitoring, your practice would discover the failure the next morning, with little time for action before patients begin arriving. The server failure could easily result in postponed appointments, reduced production, and a bill for the time your IT company would spend troubleshooting and providing a resolution. And as you may have guessed, a practice with proactive monitoring would catch the failure immediately, alert your IT partner, and potentially solve the issue – all while you’re sleeping.

In both scenarios, a proactive monitoring service would alert your IT partner immediately following the system changes, providing them time to look into and solve the issue right away. While these are a common and critical examples, there are infinite scenarios in which proactive monitoring can save you time, money, and headaches.   

Is It Worth It?

The truth is that proactive security monitoring often goes unappreciated because of its very nature. Proactive monitoring finds and eliminates issues before they have the chance to negatively impact operations, and are often solved without the practice’s knowledge. It’s hard to know if your practice has experienced vulnerabilities that would have been preventable through proactive monitoring, but there’s one thing for sure: with a million new viruses released each day, it’s never too late to shield your precious network and data.

In short, proactive monitoring allows your IT provider to constantly comb through your workstations, server(s), and data to identify vulnerabilities. The goal is always to solve issues before they become bigger and potentially devastating problems. And with minimal monthly costs, you might consider it an inexpensive form of data and network insurance.

As the number of threats grow each day, proactive monitoring is shifting from a luxury add-on to a service that smart practices identify as a basic safeguard.  Our Onyx partners have enjoyed proactive monitoring as a staple for years, and you should definitely expect a similar offering from your dental IT provider. If your IT partner does not provide similar security measures, and has no plans to do so, it’s time to re-evaluate the partnership, and their dedication to the success and security of your practice.


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