A Punch to the Gut: Are Life Sciences Companies the Next Big Cyber Target?

By June 1, 2021 BioPharma, Blog
Life Sciences Researchers
A Punch to the Gut

Following the February 5th, 2021 water treatment plant breach in Olsmar, Florida, Cybersecurity companies like TCG began seeing a surge of interest from municipal governments. And after the recent Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, there was a similar uptick from IT leadership in the Energy sector.

When the victims of cybercrime are like us, it hits close to home. It spurs us into action. Some people like to call that a “wake-up call” but we prefer “punch to the gut.”

Our Vice President, Jeff Fox, recently shared an article titled: “Attacks on biotech and pharmaceutical industry escalate.” The article highlights a 50% increase in unauthorized access attempts in BioTech and Pharmaceutical companies between 2019 and 2020. After reading the article, we speculated that the next splashy cyberattack headline on CNN and Fox News would be a Life Sciences organization. After all, the orgs in this vertical are perfect targets for online thieves.

What are the bad guys doing right now?

Following the money They see press releases about million-dollar cash infusions and grants.
Doing their homework They know when targets are too new/small to manage a Security Operations Center.
Collaborating These days, cybercriminals like DarkSide work in teams to select targets and probe for weaknesses.
Getting sponsored Notable hacking groups receive funds and protection from foreign governments that have an interest in damaging the US economy.
Engaging in industrial espionage It sounds like James Bond stuff, but do some digging and you’ll be amazed what some companies will do to beat the competition.

The past is prologue. What’s next?

With all of that in mind, would you be shocked to learn that a major Life Sciences cyberattack has already occurred? In 2017, cybercriminals took control of computer systems at Merck, locking them, and demanding a ransom. The hack disrupted multiple operations, including the production of the HPV vaccine Gardasil. The cost of this single event may have exceeded $300 million.

If you find the prospect of losing that kind of money horrifying, remember: TCG can help plan and implement reasonable and affordable Cybersecurity measures. Click to contact us today!

Leave a Reply