The pharma industry has become a prime target for cybercriminals due to its high-stakes nature, based on proprietary intellectual property. It is also a sector under increasing scrutiny as it shifts towards digitization, industrial IoT (IIoT), and hybrid/multi-cloud environments.
One major vulnerability enterprises across industries face the cloud permissions gap. This issue results from operating in constantly scaling hybrid and multi-cloud environments that can lead to compromises of network identities, privilege escalation, and, ultimately, data loss.
Cyber attacks can have a devastating impact on companies, especially in healthcare. A cyberattack can result in patient data loss, business disruptions, and revenue. Some companies even have to raise prices after an attack to cover costs.
The pharmaceutical industry is a prime target for nation-state-sponsored hackers as they own crucial intellectual property on ground-breaking new drugs that represent years of research and millions in investment. These lifesaving medicines are critical for patients worldwide, and a cyberattack on a pharmaceutical company could stop the production of such essential medications.
Increasingly sophisticated cybercriminals are targeting pharmaceutical companies for financial gain or corporate espionage. For example, a state-sponsored hacking group last year targeted several pharmaceutical manufacturers to steal valuable intellectual property.
These cyber attacks on pharmaceutical companies can hurt the reputation and brand of pharmaceutical companies as they can disrupt their operations and interrupt the product supply chain. A breach can also lead to costly legal proceedings and damage a company’s brand image.
In addition, these attacks can cost the company money through lost contracts and premiums for its products and services. The costs associated with these losses can be more difficult to estimate than other cyberattacks. Still, it is essential to consider them when assessing the total cost of a cyberattack.
Impact on Patient Safety
Cyberattacks in the healthcare sector are becoming more common. Often, the targets are hospitals and medical services that care for vulnerable people. This includes patients, their families, and staff.
The healthcare industry relies heavily on technology to provide patient care and treatment. This creates unique cybersecurity challenges that should be noticed.
Typically, a pharmaceutical company’s network is very complex. It uses many industrial control systems, workstations, and servers.
This makes it difficult to control the access of employees to the network and the devices on it, which increases the likelihood that a malicious attack could occur. This is especially true for healthcare institutions, which often employ diverse staff, including administrative and clinical workers and interns.
Once an attack begins, it may spread across the entire network. This is why it is essential to implement effective network segmentation and management.
In addition to preventing attacks, this strategy helps secure data backups. This is important because malware that deletes primary data sets can also be set to erase backup files.
The growing threat of cyberattacks on pharmaceutical companies is a severe concern for patient safety. These attacks are causing disruptions that directly impact patient treatment and can cause lives to be lost.
Impact on Reputation
While cyber breaches have a significant financial impact, they can also cause severe reputational risk. A data breach can affect a company’s valuation, erode consumer trust, and result in regulatory fines and operational disruption.
Pharmaceutical companies have shifted their focus to cybersecurity to avoid the consequences of a cyber incident. However, they must understand how cyber threats can impact their operations and what steps they should take to enhance cybersecurity protocols.
Aside from ensuring that their data and intellectual property are protected, companies must ensure that the security of the people working with them is maintained. A secure environment is one of the most effective ways to protect the company and its employees.
The pharmaceutical industry is in a unique position because they hold sensitive health data and valuable IP on medicines and their processes. This makes them a prime target for hackers exploiting this sensitive information.
While cybersecurity attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, companies must implement a robust strategy to protect their assets and reputations. This strategy can help prevent potential data loss, reduce a cyber attack’s financial and operational costs, and improve patient safety.
The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most attractive targets for cybercriminals, with companies holding data worth billions. This includes classified IP, research and development (R&D) information on new drug and therapeutic products, proprietary information, and patient and clinical trial data.
As a result, regulatory compliance is critical for the pharmaceutical industry. It is vital for the safety of patients and the quality of medicines. In addition, non-compliance can lead to financial penalties and legal action.
However, regulatory requirements for the pharma industry vary from country to country. This can cause problems for pharmaceutical companies and their employees.
To avoid these issues, pharma companies should keep up with the latest regulatory changes and develop procedures for monitoring compliance. They should also designate someone within the organization to be responsible for compliance.
Fortunately, several tools can help ensure a company complies with all regulations. These include using technology to track compliance, establishing a mechanism for monitoring compliance, and taking corrective action when necessary. By implementing these strategies, companies can avoid the costly consequences of non-compliance and protect their reputations. In addition, they can reduce the risk of recalls and other problems arising when drugs do not meet the required standards. These steps can ensure the safe and effective delivery of medicines to patients worldwide.