News That Matters

Paramount Ways to Strengthen Cybersecurity in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Pharmaceutical companies are a prime target for industrial espionage, aiming to steal sensitive compounds and valuable data from their manufacturing processes. As a result, pharmaceutical cybersecurity measures need to become a higher priority. Such measures should address data integrity and proprietary R&D. If these are compromised, the stolen data could be used to manipulate operational processes and put consumers at risk.


With the industry advancing quickly, pharma security is of the utmost importance. Companies must ensure that their systems and data are secure to prevent breaches. However, there are several challenges to securing pharmaceutical data. For starters, pharmaceutical companies have a difficult time securing their data. Hackers are eager to steal confidential information and sell it on the dark web. Furthermore, pharmaceutical companies have to protect their intellectual property. This is difficult because patents for early-stage formulas do not protect against cyberattacks.

The best way to protect pharmaceutical data is to implement a multi-layered approach. This approach combines foundational protection with innovative tools and a security culture. It also involves educating employees on the importance of cybersecurity. 


OT-Related Security Frameworks

Today, security professionals in the pharmaceutical industry need to consider both information technology and operational technology environments to ensure the highest levels of protection. The recent attacks on the cold chain of a coronavirus vaccine have highlighted the importance of having an effective cybersecurity regime in place. Pharmaceutical manufacturing processes may be compromised without effective security measures, resulting in a risk to human life. Fortunately, there are OT-related security frameworks to help pharmaceutical companies secure their systems and ensure the highest levels of availability.


Access Controls

Access controls to strengthen cybersecurity in the industry are becoming increasingly important. These controls are designed to protect information and prevent data theft. With new technology and advanced security measures, pharmaceutical organizations can ensure their data is kept secure. Securing third-party vendors, such as logistics and clinical research companies, is also important.

The pharmaceutical industry is prone to cyberattacks, which can compromise R&D and manufacturing data. As a result, companies can be subject to blackmail or other illegal activities. Recent cases include the WannaCry virus, which affected manufacturing computers. This resulted in manufacturing downtime of days or weeks.


Privileged Access

Proper Cybersecurity and privileged access management are crucial in the pharmaceutical industry. These measures limit the potential for users to escalate privileges and gain access to confidential data. Furthermore, proper cybersecurity measures should be woven into the digital transformation of the pharmaceutical industry. Here are three tips for maintaining security within the  industry.

First, understand how adversaries attack your company. They often try to access sensitive data by exploiting corrupt insiders. For example, insider trading attacks on companies involved in mergers and acquisitions can occur long before the merger is announced. As a result, companies that are waiting for warning signs are vulnerable. Understanding the way attackers target companies will help you develop stronger cybersecurity measures.

Second, secure the supply chain. Pharmaceutical companies rely on an extensive network of third-party vendors and subcontractors. Many of these vendors have access to sensitive data and manufacturing systems. A breach in one of these ecosystems could threaten an entire  organization. Therefore, pharmaceutical companies must develop cybersecurity practices to minimize risks in their supply chain.


Industrial IoT

The pharmaceutical industry has pioneered embracing digital technologies in manufacturing processes. These innovations can improve process efficiencies, reduce efforts, and increase profits. For this reason, the l industry has long been motivated to adopt new technologies and incorporate them into existing manufacturing processes.

Industrial IoT and Cybersecurity in the  manufacturing process can help pharmaceutical manufacturers better meet serialization requirements and increase transparency. Manufacturers can collect data and share information by connecting equipment, networks, and systems. In the past,  manufacturers stored production information on paper for reference purposes, but now smarter plants can access real-time data and gain visibility.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *