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Data security main area of technological investment in pharma

Researchers have discovered that pharma companies see the most need to invest in data protection and cybersecurity over other technologies.

New research has found that big data, blockchain, cloud computing and cybersecurity are the main technologies where pharma companies see the need to invest.

The study, conducted by GlobalData, revealed that over 70 percent of pharma executives prioritise data protection and storage solutions for their investments.

Urte Jakimaviciute, Senior Director of Market Research at GlobalData, commented: “There is a sizable market on the dark web for healthcare industry related data and breaking into pharmaceutical companies’ systems can expose information related to clinical trials, trade secrets and IP associated with drug formulation processes and technologies. Any cyberattack that leaks confidential information can affect not only revenues but also damage brand reputation, disrupt the supply chain or result in litigating actions.”

One reason for investment highlighted by the research is regulation; constant updates to compliance requirements from healthcare authorities, including the obligations to protect ever increasing amounts of sensitive, confidential data and to adhere to data protection laws and legislative requirements.

“The importance of cybersecurity to pharma can be emphasised by taking a well-known example of Merck. The cyberattack that hit the pharma giant in June 2017 led to a disruption of Merck’s global operations, including manufacturing, research and sales. The impact on sales and remediation-related expenses between 2017 and 2018 totalled around $695 million, while net insurance recovery was only around $45 million,” continued Jakimaviciute.

The report emphasised that while successful businesses depend on innovation, the technological progress leads to an increased risk of data breaches and cyberattacks. The more tech-savvy businesses become, the more cyber risks they expose themselves to, hence the need to invest in more data security.

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