Three cybersecurity challenges facing the Pharma industry

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This is a guest article and does not necessarily reflect the views and values of Impetus Digital

The pharmaceutical industry is an important sector that we all rely on to keep us safe and maintain a good level of health. But with thousands of private and confidential records being stored digitally, the pharma industry can unfortunately fall victim to cybercrime, just as any other online business can.

With an increase in automation tools, AI utilization, and the use of third-party vendors, there are numerous ways in which cybercriminals can attempt to breach the digital security of pharmaceutical companies. As such, security needs to be a top priority for any professional in this sector. Here, we explore three cybersecurity challenges facing the pharma industry.


Cybercriminals often use malware to attempt to breach online and digital security, and it can be surprisingly difficult to detect. Ransomware is a type of malware that freezes computers and files, encrypting them and making them inaccessible. The criminals seek to retrieve a ransom fee in exchange for releasing the files, but in the Pharma industry, this would also mean a significant breach of the patient’s trust and consumer rights.

Other types of malware include computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and spyware – all of which can severely disrupt and compromise the integrity of a pharmaceutical business. The best way to protect yourself against these threats is to vigorously check your security systems and ensure that you’re using the latest technology and cybersecurity solutions.

Phishing attacks

A natural part of any business is a vast network of employee email accounts, each with access to sensitive files and information. This is a goldmine for cybercriminals, who often send phishing emails in an attempt to gain access to the user’s computer or coax them into entering their private login information. When a malicious link is clicked on, or information is entered, the criminals can proceed to steal money and information from the user’s account and computer.

To reduce the risk of a phishing attack, employee training is key. Routinely training all of your staff members on how to recognize suspicious emails and how to react is vital when protecting your company from these threats. The consequences of a phishing attack can be devastating, and research shows this type of cybercriminal activity is on the rise.

New technologies

AI is coming on in leaps and bounds in recent years, and it’s becoming increasingly commonly used across businesses in all sectors. But as exciting as this new technology is, pharmaceutical companies need to be vigilant about its implementation. Thorough research and checks on the security and reliability of any new technology is crucial, as well as regular maintenance and reporting on its efficiency and privacy.

Setting robust cybersecurity protocols and procedures is the only way to expand and take advantage of these innovative new technologies without creating an increased risk to the sensitive data and intellectual property of the company.

Cybersecurity is a top priority

When it comes to cybersecurity, knowledge is power. Ensuring that your entire organization is aware of the risks and threats that are out there is the best way to prevent an attack from affecting your business. With frequent training in cybersecurity and by staying up to date with the latest trends, you can work proactively to recognize any potential vulnerabilities that need to be addressed and made more secure.

About the Author

James Ritter is a digital consultant with several years of experience creating content for a range of different companies worldwide. He majored in creative writing at university, and is always eager to expand his knowledge around different subjects.

About Impetus Digital

Impetus Digital helps life science organizations virtualize their in-person meetings and events through our best-in-class InSite Touchpoints™ and InSite Events™ offerings, delivered with white-glove service and 360° coverage and care. Leveraging our large portfolio of cutting-edge online collaboration tools, clients can seamlessly gather insights from, and collaborate with, internal and external stakeholders. To find out more about Impetus Digital, visit our website, follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter, or book a demo at