Why Data Security Solutions are Essential for the Healthcare & Pharma Sectors

An all-encompassing data protection program for the pharmaceutical and/or healthcare sectors needs to go beyond compliance. Due to the confidential nature of patient information and the ever-increasing decentralization of data storage, a robust data security strategy in these sectors is no easy feat to achieve.

Historically, the healthcare sector has long been associated with cumbersome data storage solutions, from filing cabinets where patient data can be kept under lock and key to seemingly secure internal server solutions that do not communicate with essential third-party systems and tools.

Nowadays, healthcare professionals depend on technology and devices to retrieve, update and capture patient data. With an increasing number of healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies moving to cloud storage solutions to ensure faster and easier access to electronic health records, more rigorous healthcare data security solutions can help reduce the risk of data breaches or technical failure.

Additionally, pharma companies have an added layer of Personal Data Management which is increasingly collected and stored online for various uses. Modern customers are concerned more than ever with how their personal data is being stored and handled. According to a Salesforce report, 95% of customers say they are likely to stay loyal to companies they can trust.

Why is Data Security in Healthcare and Pharma sectors of such concern?

Keeping the confidential nature of medical data in mind, cybersecurity in the medical space poses a unique challenge. While it might be as simple as blocking a stolen credit card, once confidential ePHI (electronic protected health information) about test results or diseases are leaked there is no way to “cancel” it. Even more important is the threat of deliberate failures in clinical electronic systems which can endanger the lives of patients.

According to the HIPAA Journal “With cyberattacks on healthcare organizations on the rise and cybercriminals developing increasingly sophisticated tools and methods to attack healthcare organizations, healthcare data security has never been more important“.

The numbers also paint a grim picture, according to SecureLink’s report, “55% of Healthcare Organizations Suffered a Third-Party Data Breach in the Past 12 months, which was the second highest percentage of all industry sectors, beaten only by the financial sector“. In their recent report, Black Kite estimates that 89% of pharma companies are at risk of phishing attacks.

Digital transformation is here to stay. It is happening across industries and sectors whether we like it or not. According to IBM, in their 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average cost of a data breach in the healthcare space has increased by $1 million to a record-breaking $10.1 million in the space of a simple year.

What are some of the Data Security Challenges in Healthcare & Pharma?

Healthcare and pharmaceutical organizations deal with vast data repositories on an everyday basis. In such a setup, value generation is heavily dependent on organizations’ ability to effectively unleash the power of such data to drive innovation and deliver better healthcare services and outcomes.

However, risk factors such as:

  • Widespread use of legacy/outdated systems

  • Email phishing scam

  • Unsecure or lax wireless network security

  • Lack of proper training in data security best practices

  • Human error/ malicious intent to steal or share confidential data online by employees, contractors and third-party vendors

All mean that healthcare data is currently at risk and, in many cases, not even compliant with regulatory bodies such as GDPR or HIPAA.

What Cryptomathic Offers?

Cryptomathic offers a range of solutions designed to address the security needs of the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. Cryptomathic’s security solutions range from managing cryptography and keys, specifically CSG and CKMS, mobile app security (MASC), to payments authorization and secure remote signing of documents and transactions. The solutions are aimed at addressing requirements for:

 

 

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Cryptomathic products for healthcare & pharma are focused on three product areas

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