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Cyber Attacks on Healthcare and Pharma Surge

Now Is the Time to Ensure Secure IT Operations

COVID-19 cases have been reaching new highs around the world, and unfortunately, cyber attacks have also risen throughout the pandemic. In particular, cyber attacks on healthcare and pharma industries have spiked.

According to a McAfee report, attacks on firms involved in research, science, and technology have increased by 19 per cent from July to September. The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre Annual Review 2020 stated that UK-based businesses saw “more than three times as many ransomware incidents than last year,” with around a quarter of the incidents related to coronavirus. In addition, the FBI is investigating “the targeting and compromise of U.S. organizations conducting COVID-19-related research” by hostile governments and hackers.

…highly regulated industries, like pharma, experience more costly data breaches than those in less regulated industries.

Ponemon Institute & IBM Security

A 2020 study by the Ponemon Institute and IBM Security shows that highly regulated industries, like pharma, experience more costly data breaches than those in less regulated industries. The pharma industry’s average total cost of a data breach is $5.06 million, making it fourth on the list behind healthcare, energy, and finance. It’s impossible to forget the massive data breach at Merck in 2017, which led to reported losses of $1.3 billion. 

There’s never been a better time than now for healthcare and pharma companies to ensure the security of their IT operations. However, many of these businesses neglect their IT operations and don’t respond to known threats, which amounts to negligence on their part under regulations such as HIPAA.

Healthcare and pharma can protect themselves from cyber attacks by modernizing  

Most security breaches occur on unsupported, unpatched systems that have known exploits. A healthcare or pharma company’s best first move is to modernize current apps by moving them to supported operating systems. Benefits include:

  • Closure of known security exploits
  • Protection of intellectual property, confidential data, and patient safety

VirtaMove’s Migration Intelligence Suite automatically discovers current apps and their dependencies and then isolates them from the underlying OS. Thanks to a light-weight, proprietary container, apps can be moved to a new server and OS. You don’t need install scripts or source code, and reconfiguration can be done automatically instead of manually. 

Once apps are on modern software and hardware, you can perform IP and IT audits, and security, privacy, and risk assessments. You can remediate apps as required to fix problems. 

As the pandemic continues and the race for vaccines is on, pharma and healthcare can’t afford to have their operations hampered by cyber attacks. Moreover, regulated industries mustn’t be complacent about addressing known security risks. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your company secure a brighter future. We are always pleased to share what we know.

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