Big data, blockchain, cloud computing and cybersecurity are the main technologies where pharma companies see the need to invest, the latest survey data from Global Data suggests.
London/UK — Global Data’s latest report, ‘Emerging Technology Trends Survey – Pharma 2019’, reveals that over 70 % of pharma executives, who have some level of responsibility with regards to the implementation of new and emerging technologies, prioritize data protection and storage solutions for their investments.
According to Urte Jakimaviciute, Senior Director of Market Research at GlobalData, 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 could therefore affect not only revenues but also damage brand reputation, disrupt the supply chain, or result in litigating actions.
The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most regulated industries in the world, with companies being required to comply with a number of regulations covering areas ranging from clinical trials to manufacturing and advertising. Over the years, the pharmaceutical industry has seen healthcare authorities constantly imposing new regulations and compliance requirements, including the obligations to protect ever increasing amounts of sensitive, confidential data and to adhere to data protection laws and legislative requirements.
Jakimaviciute provides the 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 totaled around $ 695 million, while net insurance recovery was only around $ 45 million. 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, the analysts state. Jakimaviciute concludes that Cybersecurity, cloud computing, blockchain and big data are correlated. Large data sets require the high level of security associated with data processing, transferring and storage. Even though the return on investment for the technologies such as cybersecurity may be hard to calculate as it rests on hypothetical situations, skipping out on it can become the biggest expense ever.