Most Common Pharmaceutical Cybersecurity Breaches and How to Handle Them

Most Common Pharmaceutical Cybersecurity Breaches and How to Handle Them

The most important asset of a pharmaceutical company is its huge database of strictly confidential data. Without adequate cybersecurity protection, this data could be sold on the dark web or even ransomed back to the company. However, even the most advanced cybersecurity plan is meaningless unless people are trained to apply it. Inadequately trained staff are, unfortunately, a big concern for many pharmaceutical organizations. As a result, the pharmaceutical industry must develop a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy to address the threats posed by these incursions. Below are pharma cybersecurity breaches to know and learn from

Pharmaceutical cyber risks

The pharmaceutical industry faces unprecedented cyber threats, and the industry is lagging behind other industries. Losing control of patient data and proprietary information could have catastrophic consequences and erode patient trust. Therefore, pharmaceutical cybersecurity must be a key part of company security protocols. Insufficient security measures leave valuable data exposed and at risk. To avoid cybersecurity issues, pharmaceutical companies should implement security by design. The following are some tips to ensure your cybersecurity strategy is updated.

First, pharma companies should ensure that they implement tight management of identities. Advanced analytics, automation, and most minor privilege policies can all be used to enforce strict security policies. For example, visibility into permissions helps security teams measure risk exposures and automatically rightsize permissions. They should also monitor sensitive resources continuously. If a user is allowed access to sensitive resources, the security team must monitor and restrict access to it.

Mergers and acquisitions

While all companies must implement a solid cybersecurity strategy to protect their data, pharmaceutical businesses face unique risks. For example, mergers and acquisitions may increase the threat of cybersecurity breaches, but strategies and security solutions can also help minimize these risks. In addition, adequately implemented cybersecurity strategies protect critical patient information, OT/IT technology, and business processes. Pharmaceutical companies are evolving and implementing new technologies to protect their data. For example, many use machine learning and artificial intelligence in their manufacturing processes. Other technologies are becoming more internet-connected, making them more vulnerable to malware and cyber-attacks. For these reasons, cybersecurity is crucial to pharma companies’ success. However, it’s not enough to implement these new technologies alone. Having distinct networks that operate across different locations can make it easier for hackers to compromise an organization’s security.

Corporate credentials

Pharma companies are no strangers to data breaches. Over half of pharma executives have exposed corporate credentials on the deep or dark web, and many are using these credentials to register on non-essential sites. In addition, two-thirds of breaches contain PII (Personally identifiable information), which threat actors can use to develop sophisticated attacks. A cybersecurity breach can have a devastating impact on a company’s bottom line, so prevention is key.

Pharma companies have particular responsibilities when it comes to cybersecurity and data protection. These organizations can benefit from the platform SecurityScorecard, which provides a unique framework for identifying threats and improving cybersecurity. The firm’s CyberScorecard report outlines the most common types of breaches and provides recommendations on how to handle them. It’s also possible to find solutions to these problems yourself, and you’ll never know when your company might become vulnerable.

Cost of a breach

The cost of a pharmaceutical cybersecurity breach can be enormous. The consequences of a breach can last for years and are felt even years after the original incident. According to recent studies, 53% of costs result from two to three years after the initial breach. Among industries with the highest cost of data breaches are healthcare, retail, and energy. Additionally, the reputational damage can be expensive. But what exactly is the Cost of a Pharmaceutical Cybersecurity Breach?

According to the IBM & Ponemon Institute study, 20% of data breaches involved customer PII. The study found that organizations can reduce the costs by detecting data breaches within 200 days, while a breach that is not detected for 200 days can cost $4.87 million. Regardless of how large or small, the breach is, it is crucial to have an effective cybersecurity strategy. And remember that prevention is better than cure.

Reputational damage

A recent Constella Intelligence study reveals that nearly half of Fortune 500 pharma companies have experienced cybersecurity breaches, with most of these incidents occurring in the US. Moreover, while US companies are more likely to experience cybersecurity breaches, UK-based firms are also at risk. Constella’s research identifies and tracks the sorts and frequency of data breaches, which can harm a company’s reputation.

For example, companies that don’t take proper security measures may face financial loss, regulatory fines, or both. Additionally, they may have to scrap entire batches of medication or face other breach costs. Consequently, companies may find it impossible to fulfill contracts if they continue to suffer attacks. Similarly, opioid manufacturers have suffered a severe backlash from this issue, leading to huge security consequences. 

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