FTC Safeguards Rule
Impact on Dental Practices in Wisconsin

Explore the complexities of the updated FTC Safeguards Rule for Wisconsin dental practices with N-Tech Consulting. Assess your security measures, adapt to new definitions, and achieve compliance while safeguarding your patients' sensitive data.

Navigating the New FTC Safeguards Rule

As a dental practice in Wisconsin, you may wonder how the latest FTC Safeguards Rule changes could affect your business. N-Tech Consulting, a leading IT consulting company in the Wisconsin dental industry, is here to guide you through these new regulations and help you ensure compliance with the updated rules.

The new FTC Safeguards Rule includes expanded definitions of "financial institution" that will go into effect on June 9, 2023. It's essential to determine if your dental practice falls under these new definitions and to prepare for the necessary changes to your data protection and IT infrastructure.

Understanding the Expanded Definitions of "Financial Institution"

The updated FTC Safeguards Rule now covers a broader range of businesses, including dental practices that provide financing or credit options to their patients. For example, if your dental practice offers in-house financing, you may fall under the new definition of a financial institution.

Dental practices that use third-party financing companies may also need to comply with the new regulations, as these companies are often considered financial institutions.

Do Wisconsin Dental Practices Fall Under the New FTC Safeguards Rule?

As a dental practice in Wisconsin, you may wonder if the updated FTC Safeguards Rule applies to your business. N-Tech Consulting has identified thirteen types of businesses impacted by these new regulations. It is essential to consider whether your dental practice falls into one or more of these categories, particularly those related to extending credit or offering payment terms to clients.

If your dental practice engages in any of the following activities, it may be subject to the new FTC Safeguards Rule:

  1. Issuing in-house credit cards: If your dental practice extends credit directly to patients by providing credit cards, it may be considered a financial institution under the updated rule.
  2. Offering payment plans: Dental practices that provide payment plans for their patients might be subject to new regulations if they effectively extend credit or facilitate loan transactions.
  3. Partnering with third-party financing companies: If your dental practice collaborates with third-party financial companies to offer patients financing options, it may need to comply with the updated FTC Safeguards Rule.

It is crucial for dental practices in Wisconsin and beyond to carefully evaluate their operations and determine if they fall under the expanded definition of "financial institution" as per the new FTC Safeguards Rule. Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to severe consequences, including penalties and reputational damage.

If you suspect your dental practice may be subject to the new FTC Safeguards Rule, partnering with N-Tech Consulting can help you navigate these regulations and protect your patients' sensitive information.

Preparing for Compliance with the Updated FTC Safeguards Rule

The new Safeguards Rule mandates financial institutions implement specific technologies and practices to protect customer information. Dental practices in Wisconsin must act proactively to ensure they meet these new requirements by the December deadline, which could impact IT strategy, planning, and budgeting.

Here are some critical steps your dental practice should consider to ensure compliance with the updated FTC Safeguards Rule:

  1. Risk assessments: Conduct periodic risk assessments to identify and manage potential data and IT infrastructure threats. This will help you determine if your current security measures are adequate and if additional safeguards are necessary.
  2. Data encryption: Implement strong data encryption methods to protect sensitive patient information when it's stored and transmitted. This is a crucial step in ensuring the confidentiality and security of your patient's data.
  3. Multi-factor authentication: Use multi-factor authentication for staff members who access patient information. This method adds an extra layer of security by requiring at least two different types of authentication factors, such as a password and a token or biometric characteristic.
  4. Penetration testing: Regularly perform penetration testing to identify potential vulnerabilities in your IT infrastructure. This can help you address any weaknesses before malicious actors exploit them.
  5. Staff training: Provide regular cybersecurity awareness training for your staff. Educate them on potential threats and best practices for safeguarding patient information.
  6. Service provider oversight: Ensure that any third-party service providers you work with maintain appropriate safeguards to protect your patients' information. This includes regularly assessing their security measures and holding them contractually responsible for maintaining proper safeguards.
  7. Incident response plan: Develop a written incident response plan that outlines how your dental practice will respond to a data breach or security event. This plan should include clear roles, responsibilities, and procedures for managing such incidents.


Navigating the updated FTC Safeguards Rule can be challenging for dental practices in Wisconsin. Understanding the new definitions, assessing your security measures, and making the necessary changes to ensure compliance is crucial. By partnering with N-Tech Consulting, you can confidently face these new requirements and maintain a secure environment for your patient's sensitive information.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want my team at N-Tech Consulting to help with your IT service needs, just book a call.
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