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Managing Cyber Risk for Life Sciences


For all businesses, a cyberattack can be devastating, but it’s especially devastating for life sciences companies. This is due to the life sciences industry having vast amounts of important information, which is a high-value target for cybercriminals. 

A cyberattack can cause a life sciences organization to lose control over confidential information, as well as a competitive advantage in the marketplace. In fact, Accenture’s 2021 State of Cybersecurity Resilience survey showed that a majority (84%) of life sciences respondents believe that “staying ahead of attackers is a constant battle and the cost is unsustainable.” The odds of a cyberattack are high and the potential losses are great, which means life sciences firms need to understand the risks and take the correct measures to protect their interests. 

There are several key factors behind the growing cyberattacks on the life sciences factor that include: 

  • Life sciences IP contains a lot of valuable and crucial information, which is of huge interest to hackers.
  • Life sciences organizations often need to exchange confidential information with a range of partners and vendors via the cloud. While sharing this data may help research and development, it can also increase the chances of IP falling into the wrong hands.
  • The risks associated with mergers and acquisitions that are frequent in the life sciences industry could include a data breach in a newly acquired company that could compromise the value of the IP.

Given the high value and sensitivity of the information in life science data, firms should create strong cybersecurity controls to protect their information. The following 3 steps can help protect your life sciences firm from a cyberattack: 

  1. Segment your network to isolate critical and sensitive data from the data and tools that employees use every day. 
  2. Require multi-factor authentication (MFA).
  3. Train your employees to recognize and avoid phishing emails. 

And lastly, if your business does not already have cyber liability insurance, it’s time to look into having direct access to experts who can help you manage cybersecurity risks. We would love to have a conversation with you about how we can help protect your business from financial losses, liability, and interruption.