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2 min read

Protecting Pharmaceutial IP

Feb 27, 2024 9:30:08 AM

Pharmaceutical intellectual property (IP) is highly sought after by threat actors and cyber criminals. How can pharmaceutical companies protect their most valuable asset? GroupSense's Taylor Banks was featured in Pharma Manufacturing speaking on how we have protected pharma IP for our clients and how other organizations can approach cyber protection. Read the excerpt below or jump to the full article here.

Steps to protecting IP 

So, what can pharma manufacturers do to protect their IP? They need to be cognizant of the risks to their cybersecurity infrastructure and the IP it protects. Specifically, here are some points to think about when protecting IP: 

  • Prevention: To say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is an understatement when it comes to IP. A key aspect to prevention is understanding the vulnerabilities attackers are likely to exploit. This obviously includes knowing about vulnerabilities in your own infrastructure and patching them accordingly. It also includes understanding the intent of attackers — are the groups attacking similar organizations to yours, or are they focused exclusively on yours? This can all be discovered through cyber intelligence.

    Unfortunately, many vendors have overused this term and may not be able to provide this information. In contrast to 'dark web monitoring' services, high-fidelity cyber intelligence services not only locate stolen IP, but also interact with the actor to understand that the threat and payment offer are legitimate. This type of cyber intelligence also generally helps clients understand less visible weaknesses in their own security infrastructure, as well as the groups that are most likely to target them. Most of all, true cyber intelligence should be immediately actionable to make your organization more secure.
  • Early detection: In many cases, such as the insider threat above, the first sign of a breach is when stolen data, inappropriate access, or even actual substances — like raw material — is made available for sale on the dark web or other channels. The earlier this information can be identified, the less damage it is likely to do.

    The first step is to identify stolen IP (whether it’s a formula, data or an actual substance) and understand who the threat actor is. Is it an insider, or a group with a track record of similar attacks, a group with a history of not living up to its promises, or a 'lone wolf' who has a limited track record and is just looking to make some quick cash?

    It’s important to engage these actors appropriately, so they can be properly vetted and guided toward an appropriate resolution. There is real danger in not engaging with threat actors appropriately, because not interacting, or improper interactions, may do more harm than good. 

  • Resolution: Many organizations do not take the proper steps to understand how an IP breach occurred and how to remediate it. This is why so many organizations are plagued by multiple breaches — unless the vulnerability is addressed, other attackers can use the same approach to execute a breach. Even worse is when the same group 'goes back to the well' to penetrate a victim again. Every breach should include an action plan for ensuring it does not happen again. 


Topics: News

Written by Editorial Team